Arteta confirms that Folarin Balogun’s agent is the biggest issue in keeping the young Arsenal striker who ‘wants to stay’

Mikel Arteta has suggested that despite Folarin Balogun wanting to stay at Arsenal the player’s agent is proving difficult to deal with.

Arteta confirms that Folarin Balogun’s agent is the biggest issue in keeping the young Arsenal striker who ‘wants to stay’

Arsenal working on Balogun stay

The future of Folarin Balogun at Arsenal has been a saga at the club for the duration of the season. The young English forward has just 6 months left on his current deal meaning he is free to negotiate with other clubs during the current winter window for a free transfer come the end of the season.

Arsenal have attempted to reach an agreement with the highly-rated striker who has made his senior debut in the Europa League this season scoring twice in 3 appearances. The club have rejected previous bids from Brentford and Sheffield United in the past and there is likely to be further interest in the forward should he not remain with the Gunners.

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup tie with Newcastle this weekend, Mikel Arteta confirmed that the club are still working extremely hard to try and keep Balogun at the club and that the parties involved are working to come to an agreement.

Arteta confirms that Folarin Balogun’s agent is the biggest issue in keeping the young Arsenal striker who ‘wants to stay’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on the touchline during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. (Photo by Andy Rain/PA Images via Getty Images)

“You need three parties to make a deal,” said Arteta. “For sure, the club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I’m not sure about the agent.”

“I’m not saying he’s stopping, it’s that we need to find an agreement with him. We are negotiating with an agent, with a player that wants to stay at the club and we need to find an agreement.”

“I’m telling you that we are doing everything we can to keep him here and hopefully from the other part they are doing the same and in the same interest, which is the player’s interest, which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us.”

It will be interesting to see how Arteta’s comments regarding the forward’s agent will affect any possible agreement in the near future.

Balogun’s competition

Balogun’s agent is also the representative of Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah whose own deal at the club ends after the completion of the next season. The future of both players is intertwined and will certainly affect Balogun’s decision regarding his future.

Should Arsenal choose to keep Nketiah, this would prevent the path for Balogun from becoming clearer and he would be inclined to move on in search of regular senior game time.

Arteta confirms that Folarin Balogun’s agent is the biggest issue in keeping the young Arsenal striker who ‘wants to stay’

Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal during the Carabao Cup match between Leicester City and Arsenal at the King Power Stadium, Leicester, England on 23rd September 2020. (Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

There is also the issue of Alexandre Lacazette. The forward has a contract which also expires the same as Nketiah and as the recent upturn in the Frenchman’s form has suggested that a new contract could possibly be given to the 29-year-old.

If that is the case, a senior spot in the number 9 position becomes even more difficult for Balogun to achieve. There is also competition from within the youth setup with Tyreese John-Jules currently on loan with Doncaster having a good season and the young Swedish forward Nikolaj Moller impressing with the under 23s.

The promotion of young players such as Emile Smith-Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli along with the consistent success of Bukayo Saka suggests that there is a golden era of Arsenal players coming through which includes Balogun. It is clear the young forward wants more game time and there is an opportunity in the upcoming FA Cup against Newcastle to give him that.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Arsenal at American Express Community Stadium on December 29, 2020 in Brighton, England.The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 29: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Arsenal at American Express Community Stadium on December 29, 2020 in Brighton, England.The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Coming on as a substitute against Manchester City in the League Cup quarter-final was his first taste of playing against a top Premier League side. The Gunners will be hopeful further opportunities can convince him and his agents that Arsenal is the right place to stay.

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

Arsenal betting odds, next game:

Southampton vs Arsenal odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Southampton vs Arsenal Full time result
Southampton
11/5
Draw
12/5
Arsenal
5/4
Southampton vs Arsenal Result/Both teams score Yes No
Southampton 5/1 9/2
Arsenal 7/2
Draw 10/3 9/1
Southampton vs Arsenal Correct Score
Southampton
Arsenal
Southampton vs Arsenal Goalscorers First Last Anytime
Danny Ings7/4 7/4 6/5
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang7/4 7/4 6/5
Alexandre Lacazette21/10 21/10 5/4
Eddie Nketiah9/4 9/4 7/5
Folarin Balogun3/1 3/1 2/1

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