Mikel Arteta resigned to losing "sensational" Arsenal starlet to AC Milan – report

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta gestures during the Gunners' 1-1 draw with Brentford in February 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Arsenal look set to lose one of their most-promising youngsters to AC Milan at the end of the season, with the Italian giants preparing to make a bid in excess of €30 million to land him. 

According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, the the Rossoneri have identified Florian Balogun as their main target this summer, and want to make the 21 year old their first-choice centre-forward next term. Balogun has spent the current season on loan from Arsenal at French side Reims, where he has scored an impressive 18 league goals in just 29 appearances so far. 

Arteta has been monitoring Balogun's progress at Reims and is said to be keen to bring the player, who was born in the USA but could also play for England if he chooses to, back to the Emirates next season. 

Balogun has been described as a "sensational" talent by French pundits after taking Ligue 1 by storm this term. He's been praised for his pace, finishing ability and off-the-ball movement in particular. 

Arsenal have had their issues with a lack of squad depth this term, with both Gabriel Jesus and backup Eddie Nketiah injured at the same time in March. It was previously felt that Balogun might lack the physicality to compete against Premier League defenders but his development this season has altered opinion. 

However, Balogun is said to be keen to continue his development as a first-choice striker and feels this will not be possible with the Gunners, where he would likely be third choice. This may lead to him pushing for a move to another club and AC Milan would represent an attractive destination, given their legacy and European ambitions. 

Balogun's deal with the Gunners expires in 2025, so Arsenal may be forced to cash in if the player outright refuses to open negotiations over a new deal this summer. 

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