A coach says a reported West Ham target is one of the world’s most exciting No9s but Arsenal hold all the power.

West Ham have been heavily linked with a move for Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun in recent months.

According to the likes of Football.London, West Ham have been showing genuine interest in bringing talented Gunners ace Balogun to the London Stadium from Arsenal.

The trouble for David Moyes is that a host of other clubs have been linked with serious interest in the Brooklyn-born star too.

The 22-year-old US international spent last season on loan under West Ham fan – and alleged former managerial target – Will Still at Reims – scoring 22 goals in 39 appearances.

With the futures of Michail Antonio and Gianluca Scamacca uncertain, West Ham have been linked with a host of strikers in the summer transfer window.

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Coach says West Ham target Folarin Balogun is one of world’s most exciting No9s but Arsenal hold all the power

Moyes missed out on Viktor Gyokeres to Sporting and has a longstanding interest in Chelsea’s Armando Broja.

But with Balogun slipping further down the Arsenal pecking order due to the arrival of Kai Havertz and having made it clear he does not want to go out on another loan, West Ham have been alerted to his availability.

We reported on Hammers News recently that Inter Milan had joined West Ham in the pursuit of Balogun.

And we highlighted that there was some good news for Moyes in that Inter were said to be baulking at Arsenal’s reported valuation – which varies between £35-50m depending on which source you believe.

West Ham were also boosted by a coy response on Balogun’s Arsenal future from Gunners boss Mikel Arteta last week.

If West Ham really are interested in doing another deal with Arsenal by signing Balogun, they could do a lot worse judging by one man’s very high opinion of the forward.

A coach says West Ham target Balogun is one of the most exciting No9s in world football but Arsenal hold all the power.

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‘There is going to be a lot of interest in Flo’

Saul Isaksson-Hurst has been working one-to-one with Balogun this summer ahead of his expected Arsenal exit.

“For me, he is one of the most exciting young forwards in world football, at the moment,” Isaksson-Hurst told Sky Sports.

“You look at it, there isn’t an abundance of young number 9’s floating around the national market. That’s why there is going to be a lot of interest in Flo, whether he stays at Arsenal or goes somewhere else.

“There aren’t that many young number 9’s scoring goals around the big leagues in Europe. He has the potential to go all the way.

“It’s his mentality as well. That’s the difference. A lot of these players have talent. But not many have the mentality.”

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Gunners hold all the cards over striker’s price, until next summer at least

The major problem for West Ham is that Arsenal really do hold all the power here. Just as West Ham did when the Gunners wanted Rice.

Because Balogun signed a new four-year deal in 2021 that runs until the summer of 2025.

So until next summer Arsenal can set the price pretty much as high as they like, hence rumours of their £50m valuation.

If West Ham want him, they’re going to have to stump up at least £30-40m it seems.

Whether the Hammers are prepared to spend that on a 22-year-old when they have more pressing priorities in central midfield, remains to be seen.


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