Middlesbrough intensifying chase for Arsenal’s Balogun

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Middlesbrough top number of  Championship clubs interested in taking Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun on loan.

Balogun has not featured in the Premier League since August but remains a part of Arsenal’s long-term plans and signed a new contract in April which ties him to the club until 2025.

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Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder tried to sign the 20-year-old, who was born in New York, back in 2020 when he was in charge of Sheffield United.

Balogun is also receiving interest from Europe, with French Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne monitoring his situation.

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Arsenal academy manager Per Mertesacker hinted last month that Balogun, who has made a total of 10 first-team appearances in all competitions, would head out on loan in January.

Meanwhile, there remains no change in striker Eddie Nketiah’s situation at the Emirates Stadium.

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Nketiah, who scored a hat-trick in Arsenal’s Carabao Cup thrashing of Sunderland last month, turned down the club’s most recent contract offer and is now able to negotiate a pre-contract with a foreign club.

READ ALSO Folarin Balogun: Time bomb ready to explode, says Arsenal academy chief

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January is Arsenal’s last chance to cash in on the 22-year-old, although they would be due compensation even if he leaves on a free transfer.

A permanent sale in January has not been ruled out, although Nketiah’s services could be required as out-of-favour former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has already left on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Gabon.

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