Folarin Balogun set to end uncertainty over his future by signing new contract at Arsenal

Folarin Balogun looks on ahead of Arsenal's Europa League clash with Dundalk
Mikel Arteta has persuaded Folarin Balogun to agree to a new deal (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has convinced Folarin Balogun he has a big future at the club and the youngster is reportedly on the cusp of signing a new contract.

Speculation had been mounting that academy product Balogun, 19, could be set for the exit door after contract discussions hit an impasse, with his current deal due to expire in the summer.

Premier League rivals Liverpool, Manchester City and Everton have been keeping close tabs on developments and reports in January suggested the forward was on the brink of reaching a pre-contract agreement with an unnamed foreign team.

RB Leipzig, Stuttgart and Monaco were among those registering a strong interest in landing the highly-rated England Under-20 international from overseas.

Folarin Balogun looks on during Arsenal v Blackburn Rovers: Premier League 2
Balogun has made five appearances for Arsenal’s first-team this season (Picture: Getty)

Though Balogun has made five appearances in Arsenal’s cup competitions across an impressive debut season, he had hoped for far greater opportunities and all the signs have been pointing to his impending departure.

But according to The Daily Mail, Arteta has made a concerted effort to ensure Balogun stays put and there has been a breakthrough in the club’s talks to convince the sought-after attacker to put pen to paper on new terms.

Arsenal’s current striking options have flattered to deceive for much of the campaign and Arteta has managed to win an impatient Balogun over by showing him he has a clear and realistic path to the first-team.

The report claims Arteta has put Balogun’s mind at ease and the teenager – who has been with the Gunners since the age of eight – is now confident he has a long-term future at the Emirates.

The Arsenal manager has appeared upbeat throughout the saga surrounding Balogun’s future and said he was hopeful an agreement would be reached when asked for an update last month.

‘I think I am pretty positive about it and every time I spoke to him, he mentions the same thing, that he’s determined to stay here, that he wants to stay here,’ Arteta said.

‘We have had some really positive conversations with his agent as well and [technical director] Edu is in charge of that.

‘He’s been spending a lot of time and energy to make that deal happen because it’s important for us to keep our talent in the house.

‘What we can guarantee is that we’re doing everything we can to keep him.’

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