Folarin Balogun’s contract U-turn confirmed by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed Folarin Balogun is on the cusp of signing a new deal with the Gunners.

The 19-year-old striker has stalled on signing an extension throughout the season amid heavy interest from Bundesliga clubs and numerous Premier League rivals.

This left Emirates chiefs concerned they could lose one of their most promising youngsters this summer, when his current contract expires.

But Balogun is ready to end speculation over his future by penning a new deal.

Arteta confirmed the encouraging news in his press conference ahead of the second leg of Arsenal’s Europa League quarter-final tie with Slavia Prague on Thursday.

Balogun has made four appearances in the Europa League and one in the Carabao Cup

“We’re going to make it official once everything is done,” Arteta told reporters of Balogun’s new deal.

“As I said, I’ve always been very positive that he wants to stay at the club. We want him to stay at the club so, we’re very close.”

Balogun made his senior Gunners debut in the Europa League in October and has scored twice in his five appearances to date.

The Gunners boss explained how he convinced Balogun to stay
The Gunners boss explained how he convinced Balogun to stay

Is Balogun a future Arsenal first-teamer in the making? Have your say in the comments.

Quizzed on how he persuaded the US-born England U20 star to stay, Arteta said: “We just tried to, first of all, understand why he got to the point that he was really thinking about leaving the football club after being raised here and the feelings he’s built towards the club.

“Once you understand his position, you try to explain what you want to do, how involved he’s going to be in the project and how and then get the full commitment from the club and support.”

Arteta also reserved special praise for Arsenal’s technical director, adding: “Edu has done an incredible job as well.”

When he has not been with the senior team, Balogun captains Arsenal Under-23 and has racked up nine goals and two assists in Premier League 2 this season.

The teenager was previously likened to former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright by Martin Keown.

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