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Arsenal transfer news: Gunners hope to convince Folarin Balogun to sign new contract

Folarin Balogun
(Image credit: PA)

Arsenal are still hopeful that Folarin Balogun will sign a new contract with the club.

The highly-rated teenager is set to become a free agent this summer and several sides have been linked with his signature.

RB Leipzig were previously thought to be leading the race for the striker, who was born in New York before moving to London aged two.

A recent report stated that Bayer Leverkusen had joined the race for the 19-year-old, who is yet to make his Premier League debut.

Balogun, who has scored two goals in four Europa League appearances this term, is currently weighing up his options.

But Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal are still optimistic that Balogun will still be at the Emirates Stadium next season.

“I’m still very positive that Flo is going to stay with us and it’s what we’re trying to do as a club, and it’s what I’m trying to do as a manager,” he said.

“As far as I know from last week, the player wants to be here, so I’m positive. I think he’s made some big progress in a few months.”

Arsenal may need to convince Balogun that he will receive more first-team minutes if the forward is to commit his future to the club.

The England Under-20 international is behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nkeitah in the centre-forward pecking order at present.

Balogun has scored seven goals in 14 league appearances for Arsenal’s Under-23s this season, but he has yet to be named in a matchday squad in the Premier League.

The striker was also omitted from Arsenal’s travelling party for last month’s defeat by Southampton in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Balogun appeared to aim a dig at Arteta after that decision, with the youngster taking to social media to post a video of a goal he scored for the Under-23s after Arsenal were knocked out of the competition.

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