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Folarin Balogun: Monaco continue positive talks for Arsenal striker with Chelsea also interested

Positive talks continue between Monaco and Arsenal over the signing of striker Folarin Balogun; Chelsea have also shown an interest in the US international; the Blues are still looking at viable exit options for Romelu Lukaku; Belgium international is training away from first-team squad

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 19: Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun (26) in action during the 2023 MLS All-Star Game between the MLS All-Stars and Arsenal on July 19, 2023, at Audi Field in Washington, DC. (Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr./Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
Image: Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun is a Chelsea and Monaco target this summer

Positive talks continue between Monaco and Arsenal over the signing of striker Folarin Balogun, with Chelsea also interested in the US international.

The Blues have held tentative talks with intermediaries over the conditions of a potential deal for the 22-year-old.

But one source has told Sky Sports News that Arsenal's asking price for Chelsea would be higher than if Balogun was to move abroad.

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Football coach Saul Isaksson-Hurst has been working with Arsenal academy product Folarin Balogun and believes he is one of the most exciting number nines in world football

French side Monaco have yet to go back in with an improved bid for Balogun - but it is understood the discussions are centred on coming to a broad agreement on a fee before finalising payment structure.

So far, Arsenal have not budged on their £50m valuation.

Personal terms are not expected to be a problem and Balogun is open to the move to the Ligue 1 outfit.

He spent last season on loan in France at Reims and scored 21 league goals in 34 starts.

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Chelsea looking at viable exit options for Lukaku

Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku in action vs Fiorentina on April 1, 2023
Image: Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku spent last season on loan at Inter Milan

Chelsea's interest in Balogun comes amid an uncertain future for Romelu Lukaku at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are still looking at viable exit options for the striker while he continues to train away from the first-team squad.

Lukaku favours a move to Juventus and the Italian side want to do a deal. However, they need to sell to be able to fund a permanent transfer.

The clubs explored a potential swap deal involving Dusan Vlahovic but could not agree terms, with Juve thought to have wanted £34m plus Lukaku for the Serbian striker.

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The Monday Night Football panel discuss the potential of Mauricio Pochettino's Chelsea side and the club's transfer strategy

Vlahovic started and scored in Juve's 3-0 win at Udinese on Sunday in their Serie A opener.

Chelsea's stance has always been to do a permanent deal for Lukaku - as it stands, that remains the case.

Up until now, the 30-year-old has ruled out a move to Saudi Arabia at this stage of his career.

However, if he is still at Chelsea when the window closes, the club are understood to want him to consider that option with the Saudi window closing on September 7.

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino is planning without Lukaku and has left his future in the hands of the club - effectively confirming he will not play for the club while he is in charge.

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Who will be on the move this summer ahead of the transfer window closing at 11pm on September 1 in England and midnight in Scotland?

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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