Romano: Chelsea ‘speak to’ Arsenal player’s agent over £50m transfer; Palace star to Gunners ruled out

Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun Credit: Alamy
Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun Credit: Alamy

Chelsea have spoken to Folarin Balogun’s agent about a possible transfer but haven’t submitted an offer to Arsenal yet, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Blues could be in the market for another striker before the transfer deadline after Christopher Nkunku was ruled out until around November by a knee injury.

Arsenal striker Balogun has been the subject of a lot of interest this summer with Fulham, Inter Milan, West Ham, Monaco and Chelsea among the clubs linked.

Monaco seem to be the most interested currently with Balogun said to be ‘very keen’ on joining the Ligue 1 club as they prepare a fresh bid for the USA international, who the Gunners value at around £50m.

And transfer expert Fabrizio Romano finished his Caught Offside column on Thursday by commenting on various Arsenal rumours doing the rounds.

Romano wrote: “To finish with, some points on Arsenal as there’s been plenty of speculation in the last 24 hours about potential ins and outs at the Emirates Stadium.

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“Despite talk of things advancing with Monaco and Folarin Balogun, my understanding is that the situation is the same as I reported yesterday – Monaco remain favourites and they are considering to return with new bid. Chelsea, meanwhile, spoke to the player’s agent but didn’t send any bid as of today.

“Some Arsenal fans are understandably concerned about losing Balogun while Gabriel Jesus is injured, and with Eddie Nketiah not being particularly prolific in recent months, but in my opinion we have also to consider FFP, all top clubs need also to sell and Balogun doesn’t want to stay so it’s the correct decision to let him go.”

Gabriel Magalhaes has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia and Real Madrid in recent weeks with the Arsenal reportedly lining up Crystal Palace centre-back Marc Guehi as his replacement.

But Romano insists neither of those things will happen with Gabriel staying put at the Emirates Stadium this season.

Romano added: “And to clarify again, Arsenal are not letting Gabriel Magalhaes leave, he’s staying and he’s key player for Arsenal – the position looks very clear despite some speculation that they could allow a sale if they bring in Marc Guehi as a replacement. Guehi was one of the players considered by Arsenal back in May alongside Mohamed Simakan and Aymeric Laporte but then they decided to go for Jurrien Timber in very clear way.

“As I previously said, Arsenal will explore the market for cover for Timber, but at the moment there’s no change, nothing concrete or imminent.”


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