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Bundesliga club opens talks to sign Folarin Balogun as Arsenal target 'silent assassin' to replace him

Bundesliga club opens talks to sign Folarin Balogun as Arsenal target 'silent assassin' to replace him

This came out of nowhere.

Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun is expected to be at the centre of a mass bidding war this summer, and the Gunners have reportedly identified his replacement.

Balogun has scored 19 goals in 31 matches across all competitions for Reims this season, amassing interest from Europe's elite.

It is thought that he is keen to be first choice striker wherever he goes, raising concerns over his future at Arsenal due to the presence of both Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah.

Among those targeting the 21-year-old are Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, claim Sky Sports Germany.

Leipzig are said to have entered talks with Balogun over a possible move, with the striker's future currently up in the air. While AC Milan, Inter Milan, Marseille and Monaco are all monitoring his situation.

The report also states that Gunners are expected to demand in excess of €40 million (£35m) for Balogun.

However, should they allow him to leave north London, Mikel Arteta has allegedly lined up his replacement.

Balogun replacement identified

Italian publication Calcio Mercato report that Arsenal are in competition with AC Milan for Lille striker Jonathan David.

The 23-year-old is high up on Milan's shopping list, although the Serie A side are also thought to be long-term admirers of Balogun.

Therefore, Balogun's potential switch to Milan would pave the way for David to join the Gunners.

The Canada international is enjoying a hugely successful campaign in France and sits joint top of the Ligue 1 goalscoring charts alongside PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe, with Balogun just one goal behind the pair.

David was coined the "silent assassin" by his international boss John Herdman, who referenced his "killer instinct".

“Jonathan is one of those silent assassins," Herdman told talkSPORT.

"He’s very clued up tactically and that’s what I really enjoy about Jonathan, he really wants to get into the details of the game and understand the pressing tactics.

"For him, he’s a quiet player around the environment and a quiet presence and has this killer instinct.

"Tactically very organised and very away, but with that instinct to be able to ghost into a penalty area and do what he does best and that is score," Herdman added.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Arsenal, AC Milan, RB Leipzig, Lille, Mikel Arteta, Football, Transfers