Arsenal have confirmed that striker Folarian Balogun has joined Ligue 1 side AS Monaco on a permanent transfer. The fee is believed to be £30m upfront, with a further £4m in easily-achievable add-ons. It is believed that there is a large sell-on clause included in the deal, thought to be worth 17.5%.
There has been much speculation over Balogun’s future this summer. The American international, who enjoyed an immensely successful season in Ligue 1 last season when on loan at FC Reims, has attracted a lot of attention from around the continent.
Balogun had previously agreed terms with Serie A giants Inter Milan, who began the process of looking for a striker to replace Romelu Lukaku. However, the Italian side balked at Arsenal’s asking price, which, at the time, was reported to be as high as £50m at one point.
Many Premier League sides were also thought to be interested. Newcastle, Chelsea, Fulham and even Tottenham Hotspur, were all interested in acquiring the striker. Significant reports suggest that Arsenal increased their asking price for rival clubs.
While the sale of Balogun may come as a shock to many Arsenal fans, the club felt that the time was right to cash in. Balogun, a Hale End graduate, represents pure profit for Financial Fair Play (FFP) accounting purposes, and was thought to be at the apex of his value.
Balogun is the latest in a line of Hale End players to have left the club. Emiliano Martínez and Joe Willock have already sought their fortune elsewhere, netting the club a respectable £45m in the process. Meanwhile, Balogun’s sale has already become one of the highest in the club’s history, sitting just £6m short of the cumulative fee for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was sold to Liverpool for £35m with £35m in add-ons.
Balogun’s departure follows the loan of Kieran Tierney to Real Sociedad. Others are expected to follow, including Nuno Tavares, Nicolas Pépé and Albert Sambi Lokonga.