Two Prem sides want Arsenal frontman who’s putting Messi, Mbappe to shame, as Fabrizio Romano hints at Arteta decision

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Credit: Alamy
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Credit: Alamy

Fabrizio Romano has confirmed two Premier League sides are among a host of clubs who’ve registered interest in a thriving Arsenal forward, and when a decision will be made on his future has been revealed.

Once Gabriel Jesus picked up a knee injury with Brazil, all eyes were on how Arsenal would respond ahead of the winter window. A new forward was targeted, though Mikel Arteta opted to sign a wide player rather than a centre-forward.

His justification for avoiding making an addition up front stemmed from the fantastic form of Eddie Nketiah. The 23-year-old has scored six times across all competitions since the World Cup including a vital brace in the 3-2 victory over Man Utd.

Another option available to Arteta was recalling Folarin Balogun from his season-long loan spell with Reims.

Balogun, 21, is in the form of his life in France, with his 14 Ligue 1 goals placing him atop the league’s scoring chart.

Joint-second is former Gunner Alexandre Lacazette and Kylian Mbappe, both with 13. Lionel Messi, meanwhile, is way back on 10.

However, Arsenal elected to not disrupt Balogun’s loan spell given the incredible strides forward he is making. The Gunners are primed to be the biggest beneficiary of the move given it appears Balogun will return to north London a far superior player in the summer.

However, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, there’s likely to be plenty of interest in the striker, not least from within the Premier League.

Balogun courting mass interest; Arsenal decision timeframe revealed

Via Caught Offside, Romano confirmed Arsenal never had any intention of cutting the loan short. He also insisted two EPL sides battled Reims for Balogun’s signature before the season began, and revealed the final decision on his future will be made once the campaign concludes.

Unfortunately, the identities of the two English sides weren’t revealed. However, given Balogun’s remarkable form this season, it stands to reason the pair’s interest will only have heightened.

“Arsenal never thought of Balogun back in January,” said Romano. “They wanted to protect him as Reims loan has been an excellent decision.

“Some Italian clubs wanted Balogun in July and also two Premier League clubs and Borussia Monchengladbach but France was the best option.

“Arsenal will decide his future in May/June, not now”

The Sun recently reported Reims hope to bring Balogun on board on a permanent basis. Given his incredible form, that should come as no surprise.

However, Football Insider reported Balogun’s transfer valuation may have swelled to as high as £50m through his French exploits. A figure of that size would rule Reims out of any summer transfer race.

In any case, three options are open to Arsenal in the summer and Arteta must consider his decision carefully.

The Spaniard could retain Balogun in his ranks, though if he fails to force his way into the team, his development could be stunted.

Alternatively, another loan could be sanctioned. The Gunners have previous in that regard after finding great success with William Saliba after multiple loan spells in France.

The final option would see Arsenal cash in on Balogun while his stock is at its highest.

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