EXCLUSIVE: West Ham make Balogun their summer transfer priority
- Updated: 22 Jun 2023 07:02 CDT
- 3 min read
West Ham United have made Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun a priority summer signing, FootballTransfers has learned.
Balogun’s future at Arsenal is unclear, with the US international striker potentially ready to push for a move away from the Emirates Stadium as manager Mikel Arteta has failed to give him significant assurances over game time next term.
The striker, who turns 22 on 3 July, has been on loan for the last season with Ligue 1 side Reims, with the striker impressing in France’s top flight by netting 21 goals in 37 games.
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Talks between West Ham and Arsenal are already in full swing over the future of England midfielder Declan Rice, with the Hammers holding firm to a £100 million valuation of the 24-year-old.
Arsenal face a complication in that deal as Man Utd have stepped in with a player-plus-cash deal that has been described as Arteta’s “worst nightmare”.
West Ham are willing to accept a part-exchange deal and, according to FootballTransfers’ sources, Balogun is a player who has been discussed while the Rice negotiations have been taking place.
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The centre-forward role is one that Hammers boss David Moyes will be seeking to strengthen in the weeks ahead.
West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca is currently looking set for a transfer out of the club this summer, with links to sides in the Serie A including Roma and AC Milan, who, coincidentally, have also been monitoring Balogun, along with RB Leipzig.
Arsenal, though, have refused to combine their academy graduate as part of the Rice deal due to that fact that discussions on the new US international’s future are still ongoing.
Arteta’s ideal plan for Balogun would be to take the forward on the pre-season tour of the USA in July to see how he performers alongside his more senior teammates, but if the forward is truly determined to leave, he may not get that chance.