LIVE Transfer Talk: Chelsea eye Balogun as Arsenal set £50m fee

The summer transfer window is now open in Europe, and there’s plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Chelsea, Fulham eye Arsenal’s Balogun

Arsenal will demand £50m to part ways with forward Folarin Balogun, amid Chelsea interest, according to the Evening Standard.

While Balogun is under contract with the Gunners until June 2025, the north London outfit will be keen to offload the forward this summer, with his stock high, following an impressive 2022/23 season.

The United States international endured a stellar loan spell in France last season, as he notched 21 goals in Ligue 1 for Reims, attracting interest from across Europe in the process. However, he has found himself low in the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium, leaving the door ajar for a potential exit.

Chelsea are in the market for attacking reinforcements, with Nicolas Jackson and Armando Broja the only viable forward options for Mauricio Pochettino currently, with Romelu Lukaku not in the Chelsea manager’s plans and Christopher Nkunku not set to return until December, following a knee injury sustained during pre-season.

However, the report suggests that Chelsea are not the only interested party in Balogun, with Fulham named as a possible destination for the Hale End graduate. The Cottagers recently saw Aleksandar Mitrovic depart to Al Hilal, leaving Marco Silva desperate to add a new number 9 to his ranks before the transfer window closes.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga & more (U.S.)
– Read on ESPN+: Explaining the language of the transfer window

PAPER GOSSIP (by Rajan Hothi)

– West Ham have seen their €42m offer for Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus rejected, leaving the Hammers to ponder whether they should return with a fresh approach, per Fabrizio Romano. The tweet reveals that West Ham’s approach was higher than Brighton’s previous bid, however, Ajax are standing firm on their valuation of the 23-year-old, which could see West Ham consider alternative options. However, the Premier League outfit are not short on funds, following Declan Rice‘s departure to Arsenal earlier in the window, which may see them return to test Ajax’s resolve.

– Al Ittihad hold an interest in Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, however, a deal is unlikely to materialise, according to Rudy Galetti. With the transfer window entering its final week, the tweet reveals that Liverpool are reluctant to lose the 31-year-old, especially considering the season has already begun, which should see the forward stay at Anfield until the end of the season.

Lazio and Marseille are still apart in their valuation of midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, reports Foot Mercato. The 24-year-old has been earmarked as a priority by Lazio, who are eager to find an agreement for the midfielder before the window shuts. The report indicates that while a deal is edging closer, Marseille are hunting for €22m to part ways with the Frenchman, and Lazio have so far only offered €15m, alongside bonuses.

– Al Ittihad are keen on striking a deal for Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos, reveal RMC Sport. Despite the interest from the Saudi outfit, alongside their desire to offer the Brazilian a significantly improved contract with the club, the report indicates that the 29-year-old would prefer to remain with the Ligue 1 champions. The PSG captain has seen his future scrutinised in recent weeks, with his captaincy reported to be under threat.

Bayer Leverkusen are pushing to complete a deal for Barcelona winger Abde Ezzalzouli, amid further interest in the Moroccan, per Sport. The report reveals that the cash-strapped Catalan giants cannot bring new players to the club before offloading a number of their own, and while they would prefer to part ways with Ansu Fati, they could see Ezzalzouli leave instead. Bayer Leverkusen could propose a €20m offer, while Aston Villa and Real Betis are also named as interested in the winger who impressed on loan with Osasuna last season.

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