Folarin Balogun transfer: Monaco prep second bid for Arsenal’s USMNT striker after $43 million offer rejected

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Monaco are expected to submit another bid for Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun in the coming days amid ongoing dialogue between the two clubs, according to CBS Sports sources. The United States Men’s national team striker has emerged as the primary target for Monaco, who are under pressure to strengthen their squad at forward after a major injury to Breel Embolo.

An initial offer believed to be worth around $43 million was rejected by Arsenal earlier this month with the Gunners looking for a price as close to £50 million as possible. However that sizeable valuation has already curbed interest from Inter while their crosstown rivals AC Milan have not progressed their interest into a formal proposal. Marseille had also been monitoring the situation but their failure to qualify for the Champions League would make it significantly harder to finance a move.

The sort of Premier League interest that would help Arsenal reach their lofty demands has so far not materialized. West Ham could change that, flush with cash as they are, following their £105 million sale of Declan Rice to the Gunners. Gianluca Scamacca subsequently left for Atalanta, leaving David Moyes’ side in need of additions up top.

Balogun scored 22 goals in 39 appearances on loan in France with Reims last season, attention on his exploits only building as he opted to declare for the USMNT over England. The 22-year-old returned to training with Arsenal this week after battling a foot injury during preseason, but he remains firmly on the fringes of Mikel Arteta’s squad. Fellow academy graduate Eddie Nketiah only strengthened his standing above Balogun with a goal in the opening weekend win over Nottingham Forest.

Having completed the loan signing of David Raya on Tuesday, Arsenal are focused on trimming back a first team squad that currently numbers 32, should they bring in enough in sales there would also be an appetite to strengthen their attack if the right opportunity emerged. Talks are underway with Nottingham Forest for the sale of Nuno Tavares while center back Rob Holding is expected to depart. Though Jurrien Timber’s knee injury is likely to sideline him for almost all of this season, Arsenal would still be ready to countenance the right deal for Kieran Tierney, though they will push any suitors to at least offer a purchase obligation if they want to loan the Scotland international.

Nicolas Pepe is closing in on a move to Besiktas, however the Turkish side are expected to wait for Arsenal to terminate the contract of their one-time record signing, who has not returned to training.

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