Arsenal on brink of announcing Folarin Balogun has signed a new four-year contract as Gunners fend off interest from across Europe to keep hold of their talented young striker
Arsenal are poised to confirm Folarin Balogun has signed a new four-year deal.
Sportsmail revealed on Friday that highly-rated academy graduate Balogun, 19, was close to committing to Arsenal to end months of uncertainty about his long-term future.
He put pen to paper on his new contract, which will run until 2025, at the weekend ahead of an official announcement.
Teenage striker Folarin Balogun is on the brink of signing a new long-term deal with Arsenal
Manager Mikel Arteta said: ‘We are going to make it official when it’s official and everything is done but as I said before, I have always been very positive that he wanted to stay at the club. We are very close.’
Balogun’s contract was due to expire this summer alerting a string of clubs at home and abroad.
Though Arteta and technical director Edu have been successful in their attempts to convince the New York-born England under-20 international that the Emirates remains the best place for him to continue his career.
Asked how they persuaded Balogun to stay when for a long time it appeared he was more likely to leave, Arteta said: ‘Just trying to first of all understand why he got to the point where he was really thinking about leaving the club after being raised here and the feelings that he has built towards the club and once you understand the position of him, then try to explain what you want to do, how important he is going to be in the project and how and then get the full commitment and support from the club and Edu, because I think he has done an incredible job as well.’
Mikel Arteta convinced Balogun to stay at Arsenal despite interest from across Europe
Balogun is rated as one of the best young forwards in the country.
Prolific at youth level for the Gunners, Balogun has also shown his potential in his fleeting appearances for Arsenal’s first team this season, scoring twice in five substitute appearances.
He has also scored eight goals and set up two more in 16 games for Arsenal’s under-23s in this campaign.
Balogun had been free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club from January and been targeted by overseas outfits including Stuttgart, Monaco.
RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen and AC Milan had also shown interest.
The possibility of securing Balogun for what would have been a cut-price compensation fee also tempted Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Manchester City, Everton and Crystal Palace.