Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he’s hopeful Folarin Balogun will commit his future to the Gunners after the striker told the Spaniard he wanted to remain at the Emirates.
The striker is out of contract at the end of the season and he intimated last summer that he would prefer to leave, rather than wait to depart on a free transfer.
However, Balogun is highly-rated by Arsenal and he displayed his growing potential with a fine goal in the Gunners’ 4-2 win against Dundalk on Thursday night.
The Europa League has given the striker some playing time under Arteta and helped to build a feeling that he can break into the first team if he’s given more opportunities.
Arteta has made no secret of his desire to retain the striker but he’s now crucially confirmed that Balgoun has told him he wants to stay.
‘Well we’re having some discussions with the player. He knows that we want to retain him at the club,’ said Arteta.
‘We know that the length of his contract at the moment is an issue but we’re trying to resolve it the best possible way. We want him to stay.
‘He said to me that he wants to stay at the club hopefully we can reach an agreement and extend his contract.’
Asked about his performance in the 28 minutes he played in Ireland, Arteta said: ‘He’s done really well every minute that’s he’s been on that field he’s been superb. Today he looked a threat again he scored a goal he set another one he looked really lively and mature on that pitch.’
That will ensure they cannot face a team that’s dropped out of the Champions League in the last-32 and they’ll instead face a runner-up from one of the other groups.
The Gunners’ attention will now switch back to the Premier League, where they’re without a win in four matches.