Arsenal have turned down a formal offer from AS Monaco for Folarin Balogun.
Monaco had an opening verbal proposal for the USMNT international rejected following a pre-season friendly between the clubs last week.
A written bid has now also been knocked back, although Monaco’s pursuit of Balogun, 22, continues. The Ligue 1 side’s sporting director, Thiago Scuro, has a strong relationship with Edu, his opposite number at Arsenal.
Inter Milan are another interested party but it is unclear if they have the budget to make an acceptable approach. The Serie A side are in the market for a new striker after Edin Dzeko and Romelu Lukaku’s exits at the end of last season. They have ended their interest in re-signing Lukaku from Chelsea and look set to miss out on West Ham United’s Gianluca Scamacca, who is close to joining Atalanta.
Monaco, meanwhile, are looking for a striker after the news that Switzerland international Breel Embolo sustained an anterior cruciate ligament rupture in training and will be out of action for “several months”.
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Balogun spent last season on loan from Arsenal in France with Stade Reims, scoring 21 Ligue 1 goals in 37 appearances.
Balogun switched allegiances from England, who he had represented at youth level, to the U.S. in May. The forward made his USMNT debut in June, scoring in their Nations League final win over Canada.
Speaking in July about his future, Balogun said:
“I obviously went away and the point was to prove I could play first-team football.
“I feel I was able to do that and show people I can play at that level.
“I think with me coming back it’s not really much of a situation where I think I can need to try extra hard to prove something, I think it’s a decision that’s not really with me.
“Whatever happens I’m cool with it.”
Balogun wants to be a first-choice striker next season – but where will that be?