Mikel Arteta confirms contract talks with Arsenal starlet Folarin Balogun have reopened

The 19-year-old is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal
The 19-year-old is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal (Picture: Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has confirmed Arsenal have reopened contract talks with promising young striker Folarin Balogun.

The 19-year-old’s deal at the club expires at the end of the season and negotiations over a new deal had previously stalled.

There was plenty of interest in Balogun back in the summer and Sheffield United reportedly had a £3million bid for the Gunners academy product rejected.

Arteta wants to keep hold of the young striker
Arteta wants to keep hold of the young striker (Picture: Getty Images)

Balogun has since made his debut for Arsenal’s first team, coming on as a second-half substitute in last month’s win over Dundalk in the Europa League.

The forward, who has been prolific at Under-23 level for the north London club, has also made the travelling squad for Thursday’s Europa clash against Molde.

And speaking ahead of the game in Norway, Arteta revealed he and the club are trying to convince Balogun to stay at the Emirates.

‘Yes, he’s a player that I want to stay at the club,’ the Spanish boss said.

‘I love working with young players that I can see the talent is there, the ambition is there and they can fit with our structure and improve us in the future.

‘Hes part of the DNA and myself and the club are working to try to extend his contract, try to change the situation that we are in at the moment with him and try and convince him that this is the right place for him.’

When asked why contract talks with the striker have been reopened, Arteta said: ‘I have decided that I want to keep the player.

‘The moment I started to see more of the player and change certain things that I didn’t agree with we decided to give it a go, try to convince the player, try to show him what we want to do witn him, why he fits in what we’re trying to do at the club.

‘It’s the final aim to put him with the first team and make him a regular.’

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