Fabrizio Romano reports that as well as Stade de Reims, Folarin Balogun had a number of suitors in the summer.
The Bundesliga’s Borussia Monchengladbach, an Italian side, and two Premier League clubs all wanted to sign Balogun, but a move to France was seen as the best option.
That loan has gone perfectly so far, but Arsenal reportedly never considered recalling Balogun in January, despite the injury to Gabriel Jesus.
Arsenal’s priority was the player’s individual development, and the continuation of his loan was viewed as the best thing for him.
Romano ends by saying that the Gunners will wait until May or June to decide what’s next for Balogun, with no conclusions to be drawn until then.
Recent reports suggest that Arsenal have already rejected a request from Reims to sign Balogun permanently, and further offers are expected in the summer.
But the most likely option is that Arsenal will keep him for the start of next season, to see how he deals with Premier League and European football in north London.
The striker has a deal to 2025, so there’s still a little wiggle room there.
Arsenal could loan Balogun out to a Premier League side for one more season, or keep him with the squad and hold off on a final decision for another year.
On the other hand, the situation would probably be more comfortable for everyone if all parties could come together and make a long-term decision in the summer – whether that’s to sell or to extend his contract.