Chelsea turn to Arsenal striker with ‘real interest’ in transfer search

Chelsea’s billion-pound spending spree could continue with an ambitious move for Arsenal and United States striker Folarin Balogun. The 22-year-old has enjoyed a fine 12 months, impressing in the top tier of French football before committing his international future to the US and turning his back on England.

Balogun is pushing to leave the Emirates Stadium this summer as he pursues the chance to be a key player for an elite club after a breakout season with Reims in France last season, scoring 21 goals in 37 games. However, those returns have not been enough to convince Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, who prefers Eddie Nketiah and the injured Gabriel Jesus.

New York-born Balogun, therefore, has decided his best move is to leave, with Inter Milan, Monaco and West Ham United all credited with an interest in the player throughout the summer. Arsenal are holding out for a transfer fee in the region of £40million, which will be too rich for many suitors, but perhaps not for Chelsea.

The club’s spending since American billionaire Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital took charge last summer has smashed through the £1billion barrier, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Despite the astonishing spending since Boehly’s takeover from Russian oligarch Roman Abramovic, striker remains an area of weakness in the Chelsea squad, and they have been credited with a ‘real interest’ in signing Balogun, according to Sky Sports.

Romelu Lukaku is training with the Under-21s and has no future at the club, while summer signing Nicholas Jackson is a fine prospect, but his Premier League debut against Liverpool last weekend showed he remains rough around the edges. Therefore, signing a forward before the transfer deadline at the end of the month is a priority for the Blues and manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Balogun himself has remained coy over his future but has insisted on one thing – if he leaves the club it won’t be to go on loan. 

“I’m not sure [about] the discussions that are going to take place,” Balogun said while on loan last season. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen. But I’m just committed to now; I try to stay present. I obviously want to enjoy the moment with my team and my family.

“What I can say is that I definitely won’t go on loan again. Contractually I have to go back [to Arsenal]. Because the loan was only for one year so that was always the agreement. But I’m not sure what is going to happen in the future.”

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Balogun made his debut for the USMNT this summer, scoring in his second game against Canada. The classy striker represented England at under-21s level, scoring seven goals, but the Brooklyn-born goalscorer decided to commit to the land of his birth.

He is likely to be a pivotal player for the USMNT heading into the 2026 World Cup on home soil, and the U.S. Soccer Federation will certainly have a close eye on Balogun’s club future this summer.

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