The Spanish coach has convinced Folarin Balogun he has a big future at the London giants and the centre-forward is reportedly on the cusp of signing a new deal. Speculation had been mounting that U20 England international could be set for the exit door after deal discussions hit an impasse, with his current contract due to expire in the summer.
Liverpool, Man City and Everton have been keeping close tabs on developments and reports in winter suggested Balogun was on the brink of reaching a pre-contract deal with an unnamed foreign team. RB Leipzig, Stuttgart and Monaco were among those registering a strong interest in landing Folarin from overseas.
Though the 19-year-old centre-forward has played five games in Gunners cup tournaments across an excellent debut campaign, he had hoped for far greater chances and all the signs have been pointing to his impending departure.
But the Spanish manager and technical director Edu have made a concerted effort to ensure the English striker stays put and there has been a breakthrough in the London club’s negotiations to convince the sought-after attacker to put pen to paper on new terms.
Gunners current striking options have flattered to deceive for much of the season and Mikel Arteta has managed to win an impatient Folarin over by showing him he has a clear and realistic path to the first-team.
The report claims the Spanish manager has put Balogun’s mind at ease and the striker, who has been with Arsenal since the age of eight, is now confident he has a long-term future at the London club.