Chelsea one of two Premier League sides chasing Folarin Balogun as Arsenal try to spark £50million transfer auction

ARSENAL are trying to drag Chelsea into an auction for want-away striker Folarin Balogun.

Real estate

But the big-spending Blues are refusing to meet the £50million asking price as they look to sign a replacement for the injured Christopher Nkunku.

GettyArsenal are demanding around £50m for Folarin Balogun[/caption]

With just ten days of the transfer window remaining, the only offer Arsenal have so far received for Balogun was a £25million bid from Monaco.

That proposal was rejected out of hand and now Arsenal are desperately trying to ramp up interest in the 22-year-old US international.

Chelsea are understood to have made tentative inquiries about the player but he is just one of a number of potential targets identified by the club.

Boss Mauricio Pochettino wants another striker to fill in for Nkunku, the £56million French international who has been ruled out for at least three months by a knee injury.

And Balogun is a player who could fit the bill after scoring 21 goals while on loan at Reims last season.

Fulham are also monitoring the situation after reluctantly selling top scorer Aleksandr Mitrovic to Saudi club Al-Hilal for £50million at the weekend.

But they have no intention of spending all that money on Balogun and would only be interested in a deal at around £30million.

Monaco remain interested in the player and are considering an improved offer of around £30million with the potential for a further £5million in add-ons.


AlamyMauricio Pochettino is desperate to bring in a striker[/caption]

Real estate

And it is beginning to look as though Arsenal will have to substantially lower their demands if they are going to find a buyer for a player who has started just one Premier League game for them.

One player who is definitely not going to be leaving this month is defender Gabriel Magalhaes.

The 25-year-old Brazilian international central defender has been assured that he remains a key player in Mikel Arteta’s plans despite starting Arsenal’s first two games of the season on the bench.

Gabriel has been the surprise victim of Arteta’s decision to play Thomas Partey at right-back and move Ben White into central defence.

But Arteta insists: “Gabriel is going to play a lot of games for us this season.

“He’s come on in both of our games and helped us win them both for different reasons.

“The team was selected because of the games we were expecting, how we wanted to defend and attack and our belief it was the best thing.

“That’s the decision you sometimes have to make but Gabriel was really good against Crystal Palace and he absolutely dominated the box when we needed him.”

With Jurrien Timber ruled out for the year by a cruciate injury and Takehiro Tomiyasu suspended following Monday’s controversial red card at Palace, Oleksandr Zinchenko is in line to start his first game of the season at home to Fulham on Saturday.

That could mean Ben White reverting to right-back and Gabriel returning to the centre of the defence to give the team more balance in defence.

digital marketing

TRANSFER NEWS LIVE: All the latest news, rumours and confirmed switches from the world of football

Real estate