• Clubs across Europe hoped to get him on free this summer
  • Balogun, who turns 20 in July, awaiting Premier League debut

The Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun is close to signing a new long-term contract, ending months of speculation about his future and disappointing the suitors who had hoped to land him on a free this summer.

Balogun is expected to sign the deal soon and it constitutes a significant boost for Mikel Arteta, who had risked losing a player sought across Europe. The list of alternative destinations had narrowed to three by January but Arteta had always professed confidence Balogun would commit to remain in north London rather than making a pre-contract agreement elsewhere and he has succeeded in persuading him to stay.

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