£50m Arsenal man is European giants’ ‘favourite’ target after their decision to snub Chelsea outcast

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal could sell Balogun
Folarin Balogun with his Arsenal teammates.

Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun is reportedly being targeted by Italian giants Inter Milan following their decision to end their interest in Romelu Lukaku.

It was revealed on Saturday afternoon that Inter Milan are moving on from Lukaku after it emerged that he has been in talks with Serie A rivals Juventus. 

Balogun meanwhile is likely to leave Arsenal this summer following his spell on loan at Ligue 1 outfit Reims. He was among the leading scorers in the division as he found the net on 21 occasions.

Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah will be ahead of Balogun in the pecking order at Arsenal if he opts to stay at the Premier League club heading into next season.

But after Balogun refused to discuss a new contract, Arsenal reportedly informed him that he should ‘find a new club’.

Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio is now reporting that Balogun is Inter Milan’s ‘favourite’ option if they decide to sign a younger forward this summer. This is while Alvaro Morata and Mehdi Taremi will be their targets if they go for a ‘safer’ option.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has meanwhile indicated that Balogun will cost “around £45-50m” this summer.

“I’m told Balogun’s future at Arsenal will be decided once the market develops a little more. We need to see what happens with top strikers like Harry Kane, Victor Osimhen, Dusan Vlahovic, Romelu Lukaku and Rasmus Hojlund. Once these names start to move, Balogun’s future becomes clearer,” Romano told Caught Offside.

“There are many clubs interested in signing Balogun, from Olympique de Marseille to some top Italian clubs; Leipzig also wanted the Arsenal player but they have completed a deal for Lois Openda so it’s over.

“The fee for Balogun is going to be around £45/50m but at this stage, nothing is happening and it will take some time.”

READ MORE: Summer transfer window 2023… Rice deal sees Arsenal become Europe’s biggest spenders

Earlier this week, ex-Arsenal man Alan Smith suggested that his former club would be wise to cash in on Balogun this summer.

“It is hard because he’s [Balogun] a few notches down the pecking order now, especially with Havertz coming into the squad,” Smith told Gambling Zone.

“I think the management probably see Nketiah being further ahead of him at the moment, they are similar types of players, and the club must think that Nketiah is a little bit better than Balogun. From Balogun’s point of view, he will be thinking more about how much game time he’s going to get.”

He continued: “He’s a valuable player who can probably fetch £30million plus after the season he had in France. With financial fair play and all the rest of it, that that could help Arsenal a fair bit.”

READ MORE: The most expensive midfielders ever… Declan Rice second only to Chelsea’s World Cup winner