Arsenal are ready to let an academy product leave the club – for a whopping £50 million.
The Gunners' Hale End production line has stepped up in the past few seasons to produce some of the club's leading talents, with Mikel Arteta utilising the academy heavily. This was partly due to necessity of having reduced spending power – but has fostered a culture of opportunity for youngsters.
Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have been the standout stars, taking the No.7 and No.10 shirts in the first team respectively, while the likes of Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson have broke through in recent times, too.
With Arsenal now looking to compete at the top of the Premier League now and with ambitions to add big-money players to their side, the academy may now be used a little differently, with Hale Enders potential money-spinners to bolster cash reserves.
Balogun lit up Ligue 1 on loan last season with Reims under Will Still, netting 22 times with the French side and earning call-ups to the US men's national team. The 21-year-old spurned advances from England, who he played with as a youth star, to represent the nation of his birth.
But with the pathway to being first-choice No.9 for the Gunners looking tough – Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, Leandro Trossard and Kai Havertz could all play there next season – Balogun wants regular action at this point in his career. The forward has requested a permanent transfer, with Arsenal likely to insert a buyback clause.
Balogun is valued at €25m by Transfermarkt.
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Moises Caicedo is heavily linked, Xavi Simons is on the radar, Ivan Fresneda could join and Ilkay Gundogan is wanted, too. Arsenal could sell £100m worth of players, too – with William Saliba, Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey all wanted by clubs overseas.
Jay Bothroyd, meanwhile, has told FFT that the Gunners perhaps surprisingly, should be in the market for a striker.
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