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Arteta explains how Arsenal convinced Balogun to sign new contract at Emirates Stadium

09:59 BST 14/04/2021
Folarin Balogun Arsenal
The Gunners striker is set to agree a new four-year deal after months of speculation over his future

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are now "very close’"to agreeing a new contract with Folarin Balogun, and has explained the process behind convincing the 19-year-old to stay.

Talks over extending the young striker’s career in north London have been ongoing for months, with his current deal due to expire at the end of the season.

It had looked like the forward would move on for free in the summer, with clubs from across Europe interested in luring him away from Arsenal, but talks have progressed well in recent weeks, with an announcement believed to be imminent.

What has been said?

When asked if the deal had now been done with Balogun, Arteta said: “We are going to make it official when it is official and everything is done, but as I said before, I have always been very positive that he wants to stay at the club. We want him to stay at the club. We are very close.”

How long will the contract be?

It is understood that Balugun will sign a new four-year contract at Arsenal. That will see the teenage forward commit his future to the Gunners until 2025.

Sheffield United and Brentford have both had bids rejected for the striker in the past, while there has also been significant interest from clubs in Germany.

How has he been convinced to stay?

Arteta and technical director Edu have been crucial in convincing the teenager that his future is best served at Arsenal, the club he has been at since he was a boy.

When asked how he has approached the talks with Balogun, Arteta said: “First of all, I have just been trying to understand why he got to the point that he was really thinking about leaving the football club after being raised here and the feelings that he has got towards the club.

“Once you understand the position of him, then [you] try to explain what you want to do, how involved he is going to be in the project and how. Then get the full commitment and support from the club, and Edu - who I think has done an incredible job as well.”

What’s next for Balogun?

So will Balogun be a key member of Arsenal’s first-team squad next season, or could he be sent out on loan to get some regular game time next season?

“First of all we have to sign him,” said Arteta. “Once we sign him, we go step by step and we will communicate with you guys what we are doing.”

Further reading 

'Lingard disrespected the Emirates in a way that's never been seen' - Ferdinand sees no truth in Arsenal links

Martinelli calms fresh injury fears at Arsenal

‘Tierney probably out for the season’ – Arteta offers injury update on left-back