Mikel Arteta has claimed that Folarin Balogun has told him that he wants to stay at Arsenal every time he has spoken to the striker about his future – in comments reported by Football London.
Balogun’s future at the Emirates remains up in the air. As reported by The Athletic, his contract with the Gunners expires at the end of the season.
That report from The Athletic from back in January actually claimed that the 19-year-old was close to agreeing a pre-contract deal with a foreign club.
However, no announcement on his future has been made. And Arteta issued an exciting update on his future last month.
He claimed that he is positive about the club’s chances of keeping Balogun (via club’s official website). And he has now reinforced that stance by suggesting that encouraging talks had been held with his agent.
“I am pretty positive about it,” he said, as reported by Football London. “Every time I spoke to him he mentioned the same thing that he’s determined to stay here that he wants to stay here. We had some really positive conversations with his agent as well.
“Edu is in charge of that. He’s been spending a lot of time and energy to try and make that deal happen because it’s important for us to keep our talent in the house. What I can guarantee is that we’re doing everything we can to keep him.”
TBR View: Arteta must know comments will backfire if Balogun leaves
It is interesting to see Arteta speak so confidently about keeping Balogun. He must be aware that his comments will not look great if the striker ultimately leaves.
Arsenal fans would be forgiven for getting their hopes up about the teenager’s future off the back of what Arteta has said.
So, he is opening himself up for criticism if Balogun does leave. That may perhaps hint that Arteta is in little doubt that Balogun will pen fresh terms.