Arsenal FC

Mikel Arteta hints Folarin Balogun is close to signing new Arsenal contract

Daniel Feliciano
Apr 14, 2021, 1:30 PM GMT+1
Balogun was expected to leave
Balogun was expected to leave | Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has all but confirmed that star academy striker Folarin Balogun will stay at the club and sign a new contract.

The 18-year-old was expected to leave the Emirates Stadium this summer after failing to get assurances over first-team minutes going forward. Reports suggested that he could be set to sign for a Bundesliga club on a free transfer, but he's now expected to pen a new deal with the Gunners.

Manager Arteta essentially confirmed the news during his pre-match presser ahead of the Europa League quarter-final second leg against Slavia Prague, insisting he was always confident the player wanted to stay.

Speaking to the press, Arteta said: "We're going to make it official when it's official and everything is done, but as I said before I was being very positive that he wants to stay at the club. We want him to stay at the club so we are very close."

Premier League sides Manchester City, Everton and Crystal Palace had all expressed an interest while sides from abroad like VFB Stuttgart and Monaco were also keen on bringing him in to their club.

Reports suggested that Bayer Leverkusen were closest to agreeing a pre-contract agreement with the striker, who scored his first professional goal earlier this season in the Europa League against Molde, but it seems Arteta was able to convince him to stay.

Folarin Balogun, Gary Rogers
Balogun has scored twice this season for the Gunners | Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Balogun is expected to sign a new four-year contract with the club, keeping him at the club until 2025, and will likely get more first-team minutes next season.

So far this year he has scored two goals and registered an assist in five substitute appearances for the first-team, while also scoring eight times in 16 appearances for the Under-23 side.