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Balogun close to Monaco move

Monaco have reportedly closing in on a deal with Arsenal to sign Folarin Balogun over the coming days.

The forward has received widespread interest in his signature throughout the summer, a consequence of his impressive campaign on loan at Reims in 2022-23.

Despite failing to make an impact at his parent club and a previous loan stint with Middlesbrough, Balogun netted 21 times in Ligue 1.

However, there has never been any realistic prospect of returning to the fold at the Emirates Stadium due to the presence of Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah, as well as the 22-year-old having no desire to sign a new contract.

As a result, Arsenal have been actively looking to generate a huge fee for the academy graduate, a sale deemed necessary if they want to further strengthen their squad before the end of the transfer window.

If reports are to be believed, a price-tag has been set somewhere in the region of £45m and £50m, a figure that Lens opted against meeting, yet Chelsea were allegedly contemplating.

Nevertheless, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic, Monaco have moved to the brink of winning the race for the United States international’s signature.

While it is suggested that no fee has been agreed by the relevant parties, the indication is that it is more of a formality ahead of the completion of a deal.

Balogun is allegedly in line to sign a five-year contract at the early Ligue 1 pacesetters, who have scored seven times during their opening two victories.

A separate report from French journalist Fabrice Hawkins has claimed that Monaco will pay €45m (£38.56m), including bonuses, to get a transfer over the line.

During his stint with Arsenal, Balogun has accumulated 209 minutes across 10 appearances, with his two goals and one assist coming in the 2020-21 Europa League.

Those efforts in question were in away fixtures at Molde and Dundalk respectively, but his last competitive appearance for Arsenal came in an EFL Cup quarter-final tie against Sunderland in December 2021.

From Monaco’s perspective, they require a new forward to compete with Wissam Ben Yedder and Myron Boadu, but Breel Embolo faces an extended spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.

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