The speculation on whether the extremely promising young striker Folarin Balogun would be extending his Arsenal contract has been discussed all year, and once we got past the summer transfer window without a decision it seemed likely that the youngster would be moving on as a free transfer this summer.
Mikel Arteta has maintained that Balogun was keen to stay and we just needed to find an amicable agreement, and yet again today the boss is saying the same thing, but with the reminder that there are three sides involved in the discussions, and hinted that the agent could be the stumbling block.
Arteta said in today’s press conference: “You need three parties to make a deal. For sure, the club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I’m not sure about the agent.”
He was then pressed on whether the agent was stopping a new deal being agreed. “No, I’m not saying he’s stopping.” he continued. “I’m saying that we need to find an agreement with him.
“We are negotiating with an agent, with a player that wants to stay at the club and we need to find an agreement. I’m telling you that we are doing everything we can to keep him here and hopefully from the other part they are doing the same and they defend the same interests, which is the player’s interest, which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us.”
Although Arteta sounds exasperated with the agent, it could easily be too late, as I have just read an article on the Athetic, who are supposed to be close to the inner workings at Arsenal, that suggests that Balogun is close to an pre-agreement with a foreign club, as he is allowed to from 1st January.
So maybe Balogun’s agent has just been stringing Arteta along all this time?