Middlesbrough want Arsenal striker Balogun in January loan transfer but face competition from Championship rivals

Middlesbrough want Arsenal striker Balogun in January loan transfer but face competition from Championship rivals

January 2, 2022

ARSENAL starlet Folarin Balogun is set to depart the Emirates on loan this month with Middlesbrough and Saint-Etienne pushing for his signing.

SunSport exclusively revealed how Boro boss Chris Wilder had made bringing the 20-year-old to the Riverside Stadium in January his top priority.

And we also told you how Ligue 1 outfit St-Etienne had sent scouts to watch the England youth international in action.

Balogun has been limited to just four first-team appearances this term under Mikel Arteta, with his last outing coming in the 5-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Sunderland.

Though he has been in sparking form for the Under-23s, with the American-born centre-forward chipping in with 13 goals and three assists in 11 Premier League 2 matches.

The youngster has also scored twice in each of his two EFL Trophy appearances this campaign.

And Arteta is keen for the striker to depart in the winter transfer window as he looks for him to play regular first-team football.

Arsenal's academy chief Per Mertesacker revealed last month how he is likely to be leaving North London to get himself ready for next term.

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According to Sky Sports, both Middlesbrough and St-Etienne are facing competition from a number of Championship clubs in the race to secure his services.

Sky reporter Dharmesh Sheth tweeted: "Middlesbrough want Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun on loan.

"Boro boss Chris Wilder tried to sign him at Sheffield United. Number of Championship clubs and Saint-Etienne keen too."

He also provided an update on Balogun's Arsenal team-mate Eddie Nketiah, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Sheth added: "Eddie Nketiah situation unchanged. Can sign pre-contract with foreign club."

The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with a switch to Crystal Palace this month, though it is believed he prefers a move to Germany.

And SunSport understands that Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen are interested in the 2020 FA Cup winner.

Read our Transfer News Live blog for the very latest rumours, gossip and done deals

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