Arsenal wantaway striker Folarin Balogun has been the subject of surprise interest from London rivals Chelsea, according to reports.
The USMNT star looks all but certain to leave the Gunners this summer following his superb loan spell in France. Reports have suggested a host of European clubs, including Marseille and AC Milan, are monitoring the £50millon ($63.6m)-valued striker.
football.london says: Now this would be a shock. In a way, the prospect of the 22-year-old remaining in the Premier League and solving Chelsea’s attacking issues could make sense. But Balogun simply doesn’t fit the sort of striker needed at Stamford Bridge and the move would be clueless from Chelsea.
The two teams currently have a good relationship after their recent trade of Kai Havertz, but a deal seeing Balogun move to West London just seems rather unlikely. He wouldn’t be guaranteed minutes at Stamford Bridge and would be expected to deliver goals right away. Right now, it’s probably just speculation.
He’s already showcased his ability to score goals in Europe. The clubs interested in him – AC Milan, Inter, Marseille and RB Leipzig – are all in desperate need of new blood in their attack and will be able to offer game time. Should Balogun move to Chelsea, it would be up there as one of the most shocking transfers of the summer.
Granit Xhaka has completed his move to Bayer Leverkusen for a fee worth £21.5m ($27.1m). The Swiss star’s exit to the Bundesliga outfit comes at a good time for the Gunners following reports of their interest in Moussa Diaby and Jeremie Frimpong.
According to recent reports, Diaby wants a move to England this summer after attracting interest from Man United and Newcastle. Frimpong emerged as a likely wing-back signing earlier this week, with football.london reporting the interest is genuine.
Now Xhaka has left the club, a good relationship between the two clubs has been established and could play a pivotal role in completing a move for either Frimpong or Diaby.
football.london says: Arsenal have proved over the last 12 months that holding good relationships with teams will come in handy when it comes to improving Mikel Arteta’s squad. Selling Xhaka, one of the Gunners’ most important players last season, to Leverkusen has put them in a good place to negotiate a move.
Diaby has been linked with a move to Arsenal for some time and after Jonas Hoffman’s move to Leverkusen, he could be allowed to depart. Recent reports from Germany state he would cost £51m ($64.9m) this summer, a relatively small fee for a winger of his qualities.
In Frimpong’s case, Leverkusen are said to be demanding £40m ($50.9m) for the wing-back and are anticipating bids for the Dutch international. The former Celtic man fits the bill perfectly as to what Arteta is looking for as a right-back.
It’s highly unlikely that the German club would allow both of their stars to depart, but Xhaka’s transfer means Arsenal have a clear incentive to make their first move.