Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has provided an update on the contract situation of Folarin Balogun ahead of the Premier League game against Leeds United on Sunday.
The 19-year-old striker has less than five months remaining on his Gunners contract and the club have yet to convince him to sign a fresh deal.
Balogun is said to want regular first-team football and that appears unlikely with Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Eddie Nketiah preferred ahead of him.
The youngster is still awaiting his Premier League debut for the club but Arteta is optimistic about committing him to a new long-term contract.
“No, I’m still very positive that Flo is going to stay with us and it’s what we’re trying to do as a club, and it’s what I’m trying to do as a manager,” he told the club’s official website.
“As far as I know from last week, the player wants to be here, so I’m positive. I think he’s made some big progress in a few months.”
Balogun has been a consistent performer for the Under 23s in the Premier League 2 where he has registered seven goals and two assists from 13 games this season.
He made his Europa League debut for the Gunners earlier this term and bagged two goals and one assist from four substitute appearances in the group stage.
The youngster is rated highly by some of the club’s faithful but there is the uncertainty regarding his future beyond the end of the season.
A number of top European sides including RB Leipzig are said to be interested in him and the Gunners are running out of time to negotiate a new contract.
As things stand, Balogun is free to hold talks with overseas clubs. He has played just 87 minutes of senior football in his Gunners career and may start to look elsewhere.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com