Folarin Balogun wanted in transfer by three clubs including Bayer Leverkusen but Arsenal desperate to keep youngster

BAYER LEVERKUSEN are reportedly one of three clubs that are keen on signing Arsenal starlet Folarin Balogun on a free transfer.

The 19-year-old is set to depart the Emirates in the summer when his contract expires with contract negotiations believed to have stalled.

Arsenal have been desperate to tie the youngster down to a new deal as they restarted talks with the player in November.

But there is now growing fears that the club are resigned to losing the England youth international who could move abroad in search of regular game time.

According to the Mirror, Bayer Leverkusen have emerged a possible destination for Balogun and are ready to offer him a lucrative contract.

The news outlet also stated that fellow Bundesliga side Stuttgart are interested in the American-born forward, as well as Ligue 1 outfit Rennes.

Balogun has impressed when called upon this term – chipping in with two goals and one assist in five first team appearances.

All of his outings have come from the bench, with the teenager behind the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah in the pecking order.

Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano revealed last month that Balogun is being eyed up by 15 clubs.

One of those interested teams is understood to be RB Leipzig, but Romano stated that the German side have not yet made an official bid to sign him.

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Speaking in January, boss Mikel Arteta publicly confirmed his intention to keep Balogun in North London.

He said: "You need three parties to make a deal.

"For sure, the club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I'm not sure about the agent."

Before adding: "I'm not saying he's stopping [the deal]. I'm saying that we need to find an agreement with him.

"We are negotiating with an agent, with a player that wants to stay at the club and we need to find an agreement.

"I'm telling you that we are doing everything we can to keep him here and hopefully from the other part they are doing the same.

"They defend the same interests, which is the players' interest, which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us."

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