Chelsea have reportedly began shock negotiations with talented teenage striker Folarin Balogun about a possible move across London to join the west London club in a deal worth up to £50 million.
Despite having already signed Nicolas Jackson, the Blues are looking for a new striker to lead their line next season, with Romelu Lukaku and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang poised to go, and Kai Havertz joining Arsenal in a £65 million move.
After a good season on loan in Ligue 1, Balogun could be traveling the opposite way in search of first-team action. The 22-year-old scored 21 goals in 37 games for Stade de Reims, a record that earned him a senior debut with the USMNT in the Gold Cup, where he extended his scoring streak.
Another loan is not in the cards for Balogun, who wants to play regular first-team football.
This is unlikely to happen at the Emirates Stadium for the time being, with Havertz’s arrival putting him even lower down the pecking order, which already includes Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah.
He is expected to leave the Emirates Stadium permanently this summer, with a slew of suitors from across Europe vying for his signature but none willing to pay Arsenal’s lofty £50 million asking price.
They claim that ‘his representatives have spoken to the Blues about a prospective move to Stamford Bridge,’ with Chelsea looking for a new no.9 this summer and already showing interest in the likes of Dusan Vlahovic and Randal Kolo-Muani.
A move is improbable at this time, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side reportedly looking for a more senior alternative, but if those do not materialize, they may approach Arsenal and America’s newest star.