Monaco is the most recent club that inquired about a potential transfer of Folarin Balogun from Arsenal. The USMNT star spent his most recent loan spell with Reims in Ligue 1, and he had a massively successful spell there. However, Arsenal turned down this permanent move from Monaco. This was merely a verbal proposal following the two clubs’ friendly in the Emirates Cup.
Even though Balogun did not feature in the Arsenal squad for that friendly, Monaco wants to take advantage of Balogun’s impressive spell with Reims. In Ligue 1 last season, Balogun finished in a tie for fourth on the scoring charts with 21 goals. Reims finished 11th in the table last season with Balogun leading the line.
However, despite Arsenal’s intention to sell Balogun, the first attempts from Monaco fell through. David Ornstein of The Athletic reports that a written bid and a verbal bid fell through during Monaco’s initial efforts. There was no report of the fee Monaco would have paid. However, Arsenal does rate Balogun highly. There is a chance his valuation from the London club could price other bidders out.
Monaco is in need of a striker after a recent injury to Swiss international Breel Embolo. The Ligue 1 club’s biggest competitor is likely Inter Milan. The Serie A club has repeatedly stated its interest in signing Balogun. He would be the latest USMNT star to make the move to Serie A. This summer, Tim Weah, Christian Pulisic, Yunus Musah and Weston McKennie joined or rejoined Serie A clubs.
Some reports list Arsenal’s asking fee for Balogun at $65 million. This summer, Manchester United paid around that much for Mason Mount, as a comparison.
Arsenal hearing offers from Monaco and other clubs for Balogun
Despite that fee, most clubs would likely pay less for the American. Despite his breakout season in France last year, he is still just 21. He certainly has the potential, but some of these elite clubs would need to see more consistent minutes on grander stages.
If Balogun does not get a transfer, his wish for consistent first-team minutes would be a challenge. He is currently behind Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus in the pecking order of strikers under Mikel Arteta. Monaco would provide a familiar home in Ligue 1. Moreover, Balogun said he is willing to make a move if it gets him minutes.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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