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Arsenal youngster reportedly close to leaving the club

Folarin Balogun
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has spoken on the situation after reports suggested youngster Folarin Balogun is close to leaving the club.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has claimed the agent of Folarin Balogun has made contract talks difficult as all parties remain in negotiations regarding a new contract.

The 19-year-old is out of contract with the Gunners in the summer and able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs.

Asked about the player’s contract situation, Arteta remained convinced Balogun wanted a future at the club. However, he took a swipe at the player’s agent.

“You need three parties to make a deal,” Arteta said per the club’s website. “For sure, the club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I’m not sure about the agent.”

When asked if Balogun’s agent was hindering the player from agreeing to a new deal, Arteta added: “I’m not saying he’s stopping, it’s that we need to find an agreement with him.”

“We are negotiating with an agent, with a player that wants to stay at the club and we need to find an agreement.”

“I’m telling you that we are doing everything we can to keep him here and hopefully from the other part they are doing the same and in the same interest, which is the player’s interest, which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us.”

As per a report from The Athletic, Balogun is close to signing a pre-contract agreement with a foreign side. The player is said to be in search of first-team football.

He has made just five senior appearances this season in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup. Despite very little game-time, the 19-year-old has already been linked with Premier League sides Liverpool, Southampton, and Brighton and Hove Albion.

Arteta also confirmed that Balogun could feature against Newcastle in the FA Cup, saying: “He is fit and available. Again his progression and the use of the time he’s had with us has been incredible, incredible good. And he will keep having chances while he’s with us.”