Mikel Arteta issues Folarin Balogun update after Arsenal contract rebel drops exit hint

The Spanish coach is still confident his young striker will commit to a new deal (Pictures: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has rubbished suggestions Folarin Balogun is already starting to sever ties with Arsenal and remains optimistic the young forward will commit his future to the club.

The 19-year-old is out of contract with the Gunners this summer – when he is free to leave for nothing – and talks over a renewal have so far hit an impasse with the striker concerned by his lack of game time this season.

Balogun is believed to want assurances over his path to the first team, having not made a single appearance in the Premier League for the club, while he has plenty of suitors ready to snap him up this summer.

Balogun has made no secret of his desire for more first-team game time (Pictures: Getty)

Earlier this week he got Arsenal fans very worried that he has decided to leave the club when he deleted all his posts on Instagram, which were predominantly of him playing for the north London club, as well as removing his bio which included his allegiance to the Gunners.

But Arteta has allayed fears and says technical director Edu is in constant contact with Balogun’s agent and the club are doing everything possible to get him to sign a new deal.

Asked about Balogun’s future and if the youngster has begun distancing himself from the club, Arteta replied: ‘I wouldn’t say so.

Balogun removed all traces of Arsenal from his social media (Picture: Instagram)

‘I am pretty positive about it. Every time I spoke to him he mentioned the same thing, that he is determined to stay here.

‘He wants to stay here. We’ve had some really positive conversations with his agent as well, Edu is in charge of that.

‘He’s been expending a lot of time and energy trying to get that deal to happen because it’s important for us to keep our talent in the house.

‘And we can guarantee that we’re doing everything we can to keep him.’

Balogun netted twice in the Europa League against Molde and Dundalk (Picture: Getty)

Two Arsenal youngsters who have enjoyed far more prominent roles in the side are Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, though Arteta says he has yet to have any contact from England boss Gareth Southgate over their potential involvement in upcoming internationals.

Asked if he has spoken to the Three Lions manager about the duo, Arteta responded: ‘No, not directly him, but obviously we know the staff and we know how they are looking at them.

‘We are extremely happy and proud that they can be used with England because that means we can provide some talent that has come through our academy and I think there is nothing better for us than that.’

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