Tottenham Hotspur want an Arsenal wonderkid, in a deal that would would shock the Premier League.
The two north London sides have one of the fiercest rivalries in English football and haven't done business with one another in a very long time. The last player to move directly from one side to the other was Sol Campbell – but that was at the expiry of his contract, with Tottenham having no say in the matter.
Yet Arsenal may actually consider selling an asset to their bitterest foes, as they look to raise capital in the final throws of the transfer window.
La Gazzetta dello Sport have made the extraordinary claim that Spurs would like to take young Gunners goal machine Folarin Balogun down the Seven Sisters Road, as sporting director Edu struggles to find a buyer willing to match the 22-year-old's £50 million valuation.
Tottenham certainly have the money for such a deal, given that they've just sold another player who began his career in Arsenal's Hale End academy, Harry Kane, for around €100m. But as unlikely as a deal may seem, there may be a couple of reasons why the Gunners may bite.
VIDEO: Why David Raya Is Better For Arsenal Than Aaron Ramsdale (And Why He's Not)
Arsenal may not see Tottenham as a serious rival for the title anymore, having finished last season six places and 24 points ahead of them last term before strengthening in the same window that Spurs have lost Kane. Tottenham can obviously meet the valuation – and Arsenal could even be in a position to charge a little more, as a kind of "rivals tax".
Despite the reasons that a Balogun sale across north London could make sense in some respects, however, such a move right now feels unfathomable. The two rivals never conduct business with one another and despite Arsenal's willingness to offload Balogun, they would certainly not like to see such a talented player with huge potential heading to a club who will surely rival them in the coming years if not now.
There are believed to be other suitors for Balogun, including Inter Milan and Monaco. Arsenal could well insert a buy-back clause in any deal that sees the United States international depart the Emirates Stadium.
Balogun is valued at €30m by Transfermarkt.
More Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal stories
Spurs have been linked with a move for Chelsea misfit Romelu Lukaku this summer as a replacement for Harry Kane. Tottenham are also reportedly interested in 'the next Thierry Henry' to fill the gap left by their all-time record goalscorer, while Djed Spence has been linked with an exit this summer after making just four appearances since signing last summer.
The Gunners are reportedly willing to offer two players to Inter Milan in exchange for Nicolo Barella – and they could be about to complete the signing of David Raya from Brentford on quite an unusual basis. Arsenal are also said to have made an audacious approach for one of Barcelona’s most exciting young talents.
In FourFourTwo's Season Preview, we ask whether Arsenal are truly back, following last season's title challenge and why Tottenham fans can be excited again for the future.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1