Lens to rival Inter Milan in race for Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun?

Lens reportedly emerge as a contender to sign Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun, who also has admirers in Inter Milan.

Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun has reportedly emerged as a transfer target for Lens.

Balogun is currently back at the Emirates Stadium having scored 21 goals during a hugely-productive loan spell with Reims in 2022-23.

However, it has been known for many months that the 22-year-old will not be reintegrated back into Mikel Arteta‘s plans for the upcoming campaign.

With Balogun having no interest in a loan exit, Arsenal are eager to cash in on the United States international, who should generate a substantial fee when they have spent in excess of £200m in the transfer market.

As it stands, though, interested clubs are yet to push through a deal for Balogun, Inter Milan initially deeming him to be too expensive.

Folarin Balogun celebrates scoring for the USA on June 19, 2023© Reuters

Nevertheless, according to Fabrizio Romano over the weekend, the Champions League runners-up are ready to return to the negotiating table in order to try to find a positive conclusion to talks.

Inter have been required to move on from Gianluca Scamacca, who will instead leave West Ham United for Atalanta BC, but it appears that they will face stiff competition for his signature.

As per French outlet TF1, Lens are ready to throw their hat into the ring for Balogun having been left impressed by his efforts at Reims.

Les Sang et Or emerged as Ligue 1 title challengers to Paris Saint-Germain during 2022-23, eventually having to settle for a second-placed finish that has earned Champions League football.

RC Lens coach Franck Haise applauds fans after the match on May 21, 2023© Reuters

A consequence of their success has been the sale of Los Openda who, like Balogun, netted 21 times in the top flight last season, to RB Leipzig for €43m (£37.1m).

The report suggests that Arsenal are requesting approximately £6m more for Balogun, a figure that Lens are allegedly not prepared to pay at this stage.

That said, with Adam Buksa having moved to Antalyaspor on loan, boss Franck Haise is effectively two forwards light in comparison to last season.

While a number of Premier League clubs have been linked with Balogun this summer, none are currently deemed to be a realistic option at this stage.

ID:520554:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect4835: