Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal are ‘doing everything’ to keep Folarin Balogun at the club and has suggested issues with the youngster’s agent.
Balogun has entered the final months of his contract with the north London side and there has been no breakthrough over an extension, raising the prospect of the highly-rated teenager walking away from the club at the end of the season with both Liverpool and Southampton having been linked.
The 19-year-old made his senior debut earlier this season and scored twice for the Gunners during the Europa League group stages, though has expressed his desire for regular first-team football as he bids to continue his development.
Sky Sports are reporting that the youngster is ‘increasingly likely’ to leave for free after failing to agree terms on a new deal at the Emirates, with Arteta suggesting outside influences were hindering Arsenal‘s hopes of re-signing the starlet.
“His progression and the use of the time that he’s had with us has been incredible. He will keep having chances while he’s with us,” Arteta said at his pre-match 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.
“No, I’m not saying he’s stopping [the deal]. 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 players’ interest, which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us.”