Reims are closing in on a deal to take Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun on loan.
The Gunners forward spent the second half of last season on loan at Championship club Middlesbrough where he scored three goals in 18 appearances.
Ekitike joined the French champions Paris Saint Germain earlier this summer for £30 million after netting 11 times in 26 games last season, and Reims have earmarked Balogun as a potent replacement.
The 21-year-old striker received proposals from several Premier League clubs but is now close to a move to France with medical scheduled as early as next week.
Balogun has featured just ten times for Arsenal since being promoted into the first team squad at the start of the 2020/21 campaign.
His contract at the Emirates Stadium does not expire until 2025. However, his lack of first-team minutes makes a loan move more appealing as it would be a chance for him to get more game time.
Having received what is a huge fee for the club from Ekitike’s sale, Reims are not prepared to break the bank in search of his successor – a loan deal suits all parties involved.
Reims manager Óscar Garcia is looking for recruits in the attacking department. The club have also shortlisted Genoa’s Polish forward Aleksander Buksa and Japan international Junya Ito from Genk.
Sporting CP’s Youssef Chermiti has also been mentioned, but the club have prioritized a move for the Arsenal forward amongst others.
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