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Napoli will compete with fellow Serie A side AC Milan among other clubs from Europe’s elite for a highly-rated Arsenal striker in the upcoming transfer window.
The Italian champions are seeking to find a replacement for talisman Victor Osimhen this summer and they believe they have found their ideal striker in the ranks of the Gunners.
Napoli are prepared to make a sensational offer for Folarin Balogun in the coming months having watched the on-loan striker net 20 times for Stade Reims in Ligue 1 in the 2022/23 season.
Arsenal prepared to sell Balogun to balance books
Manchester United is among the notable suitors for Napoli’s in-demand striker Victor Osimhen, who is expected to depart the club this summer. Therefore the Southern Italian side need a capable replacement if they are to retain their title.
As a result of Balogun’s productive season on loan at Stade Reims, Arsenal are prepared to sell the 21-year-old for the appropriate price; they will seek at least £30 million.
Balogun’s 21 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions in France cemented his status as one of Europe’s top youth strikers last season.
AC Milan are interested in signing the talented youngster too, and Balogun appears to suit their model, but Napoli are also monitoring the situation and expressing interest.
United, Newcastle, and Paris Saint-Germain are all interested in signing Osimhen, so the Italian champions are aware that they may need to bolster their attack.
Arsenal are willing to release Balogun to help balance their accounts as they anticipate a busy summer of transfers at the Emirates. Mikel Arteta has made Declan Rice his top transfer target, but he is aware that West Ham could demand £100 million for their captain.
Balogun relished his time with Reims and believes he is ready for regular first-team action, which Arsenal is unlikely to provide. Last summer, Arteta acquired Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City. The Brazilian is the undisputed starter at center forward, with Eddie Nketiah serving as the backup.
Unless Arteta decides to sell one of his forwards in the upcoming transfer window, then it appears unlikely Balogun will feature for the side.
Balogun claims ‘a lot could change’ this summer
Balogun is under contract with Arsenal until 2025, but he has expressed a willingness to leave the club this summer. Recently, when asked what his future contains, Balogun said he would return to the Gunners for the near future.
“Contractually I have to go back. Because the loan was only for one year so that was always the agreement,” he explained.
“But I’m not sure what is going to happen in the future,” he said, “A lot could happen in football, a lot could change, and it just depends on the conversations we have between me and the club in the summer, and we’ll see what happens.”
“Yeah I mean there’s no door that’s closed. Of course I have had a good year here and to a lot of people it makes sense for me to come back here. So yeah I mean I don’t know what the future will bring,” he continued.
Balogun’s decision to branch out and move to Reims has earned huge praise from Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.
“I’m really happy for him because in general English players don’t go abroad – normally players are loaned either to another Premier League side or in the Championship,” Henry said on Prime Video in September.
“He’s a very English-style player who likes to run down the channels but he was missing something, which was his finishing. He’s now starting to score goals regularly and I’m happy for that, happy he has gone abroad.”
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