Arsenal want at least £8m for the signing of young academy striker Folarin Balogun this summer, according to reports.

arsenal u23 v manchester city u23 premier league 2
LONDON, ENGLAND: Folarin Balogun of Arsenal runs with the ball on February 28, 2020. (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

Sky Sports report that Arsenal want £8m to sell Balogun this summer, despite his short contract and lack of senior experience. They claim the player is refusing to sign a new contract over gametime, and he’s happy to see out his deal to 2021.

Brentford hold an interest in the striker, and they tried to sign him in January. Other clubs are also in for him, though, with Liverpool and multiple German teams tracking his situation.

Balogun is 19 and was the top scorer in the Premier League 2’s top division this season. He scored 10 goals and assisted a further four in 15 league appearances. That led to one appearance in the senior squad, making the bench for the League Cup against Nottingham Forest.

Given his strong season and the apparent level of interest in him, £8m seems more than fair.

Brentford will obviously be more or less able to pay it depending on whether they win their play-off final and achieve promotion to the Premier League. But it’s nothing to clubs like Liverpool and any top Bundesliga teams.

If no one is willing to pay it, the worst-case scenario is that he stays for one more year before leaving for a compensation payment. Even then, at least it gives Arsenal another year to convince him to change his mind.

Selling for significantly less than the current asking price benefits no one but the buyer. It wouldn’t boost the transfer budget enough for Arsenal to make signings and it wouldn’t help the club show a strong stance in the market. They need to stick to their guns.