Arsenal star Folarin Balogun is being ‘tracked quite closely’ by loan manager Ben Knapper and his Emirates Stadium future will be assessed when he returns from Reims, Evening Standard journalist Simon Collings has told GIVEMESPORT.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta allowed the academy product to complete a temporary switch to the Ligue 1 outfit last summer.
Arsenal transfer news – Folarin Balogun
According to respected journalist Jonathan Johnson, a host of Premier League clubs are keeping tabs on Balogun’s situation and preparing to pounce when the transfer window reopens.
The report suggests Reims have also expressed an interest in holding onto the striker beyond the end of his loan agreement, while Bundesliga sides could enter the race for his signature.
It is understood that Newcastle United are among the sides considering whether to lodge a bid for Balogun in the coming months.
AC Milan, Villarreal and Marseille have also been named as suitors of the 21-year-old, who Arsenal believe will soon be worth upwards of £50million.
Reliable reporter Paul Brown recently told GIVEMESPORT that Balogun has ‘frightening’ potential after enjoying a productive spell in France.
What has Simon Collings said about Balogun?
Collings understands that Arsenal will make a decision on Balogun’s future when he returns from his season-long loan at Reims, while sporting director Edu and Arteta have been notified of his impressive performances.
The journalist is certain that the New York City-born star will not remain with the Ligue 1 side beyond the current campaign, but there is a possibility that he will leave the Gunners.
Collings told GIVEMESPORT: “When he went on loan, the decision was always going to be to review it at the end of the season. I don’t think that’s changed.
“He’s been tracked quite closely by Ben Knapper, who is the Arsenal loan manager and oversees all the performances. That’s fed back into Edu and Arteta as well, but he has exceeded expectations on that loan.
“If you speak to people at Reims, the way he’s adapted to France is as big a thing as the way he’s performed on the pitch because he has immersed himself in living out there.
“Reims would obviously love to keep him, but that’s not going to happen. I think they’ve appreciated that he’s either going to play for Arsenal or play for a bigger club.”
Should Arsenal sell Balogun in the summer?
Balogun has been in sensational form while on loan at Reims, with Transfermarkt statistics showing he has found the back of the net 16 times in 27 appearances.
Only three players have scored more Ligue 1 goals than the frontman, which underlines how much of an impact he has made in France.
Sofascore data highlights that Balogun has been on target every 130 minutes when in domestic action this season, which would allow Arsenal to command a lucrative fee for his services.
But he still has more than two years remaining on his £32,000-per-week contract, so the Gunners are not under pressure to cash-in at this stage.
Balogun has shown promise in an Arsenal shirt, scoring two goals and registering a further assist in just 209 minutes of action, so Arteta should retain his services ahead of next season.