Mikel Arteta has stated that he and the club are working on ‘trying to convince’ Folarin Balogun to sign a new contract with Arsenal.
The Gunners have so far failed to agree a new deal with the 19 year-old, who was the subject of offers over the summer.
Both Brentford and Sheffield United were reported in Goal as making an attempt to sign the youngster, but the Gunners ended up turning down their offers.
Despite having less than a year running on his current deal, Balogun has so far refused the advances of Arsenal, but with the youngster having been given his senior debut last month, there is hope that the situation will be resolved.
The manager insists that he is keen on keeping the youngster, who has featured for both England and the US at youth levels.
“He is a player that I want to stay at the club,” Arteta told Arsenal Media. “I love working with young players. You can see the talent is there, the ambition is there and he can fit with our structure and progress in the future.
“He’s part of the DNA and myself and the club are working to try to extend his contract. We’re trying to change the situation that we are in at the moment with him, and trying to convince him that this is the right place for him.
“The moment that I started to see more of the player and change certain things that I didn’t agree with, we decided to give it a go, tried to convince the player, try to show him what we want to do with him, why he fits in with what we are trying to do at the club.
“The young talent and the top talent that we produce at the academy is with the final aim to put them in the first team.
“When I signed for this club it was one of the things that excited me the most because I love to work with them and it’s part of our DNA and the history of the club. When we have them, let’s keep them and we really think they are players that can take us to the next level.”
Could Balogun be in line to start this evening? Could the youngster be challenging Nketiah for first-team minutes in the near-future?