Arsenal ‘very close’ to Folarin Balogun new contract agreement, Mikel Arteta reveals

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Simon Collings and George Flood
·1-min read
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<p>Folarin Balogun looks set to stay at Arsenal this summer</p> (Getty Images)

Folarin Balogun looks set to stay at Arsenal this summer

(Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta says that Arsenal are “very close” to finalising a new contract with Folarin Balogun.

The highly-rated academy graduate’s current Gunners deal is due to expire this summer, with clubs from Germany - including Bayer Leverkusen - keen to take advantage of his contract stand-off.

However, Arsenal are now making excellent progress on that front after months of uncertainty, with manager Arteta revealing that an agreement is not far away.

“We are going to make it official when it is official and everything is done,” the Spaniard said on Wednesday. “But, as I said before, I have always been very positive that he wants to stay at the club. We want him to stay at the club. We are very close.”

Asked how Arsenal had managed to convince Balogun to stay, Arteta added: “First of all, I have just been trying to understand why he got to the point that he was really thinking about leaving the football club after being raised here and the feelings that he has got towards the club.

“Once you understand the position of him, then [you] try to explain what you want to do, how involved he is going to be in the project and how. Then get the full commitment and support from the club, and [technical director] Edu - who I think has done an incredible job as well.”

However, Arteta shrugged off premature questions over a potential loan exit for Balogun this summer.

“First of all we have to sign him. Once we sign him, we go step by step and we will communicate with you guys what we are doing,” he said.

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