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Inter are ready to test Arsenal's lofty price tag for U.S. international Folarin Balogun with a €40 million bid, according to CBS Sports sources. Balogun has emerged as the first choice target of the Nerazzuri since they withdrew from the race for Romelu Lukaku. Although they have not yet formally made their offer to Arsenal, an opening bid is expected imminently.

It is likely to fall short of Arsenal's demands, with the club's £50 million valuation equating to €58 million. To bridge the gap Inter could look to include a series of clauses including a sell-on percentage or buyback option. The Gunners are unlikely to rush to make a decision over Balogun, who also has admirers in the Premier League that include Brighton, Crystal Palace and West Ham. Drawing one of those sides into negotiations would help drive the price toward Arsenal's valuation.

Balogun has made clear his desire for a regular starting role after an impressive season on loan with Ligue 1 side Reims, where he scored 22 goals in 39 games across all competitions. Such a role is unlikely to emerge at Arsenal, where Gabriel Jesus is clearly established as Mikel Arteta's first-choice center forward. Speaking in June, Balogun said that he "definitely won't go on loan again" and on Monday he insisted that he is focused on his preseason with Arsenal, leaving any matters to do with his future to his agent and family.

Balogun would face a challenge establishing himself in an Inter side that will include Lautaro Martinez, Joaquin Correa and summer signing Marcus Thuram. The departure of Edin Dzeko as a free agent and Romelu Lukaku's return to Chelsea, who are still looking to move him on, does open up a spot in Simone Inzaghi's squad with Inter generally fielding a front two. Balogun would also get the opportunity to test himself in the Champions League.

Balogun is currently on Arsenal's preseason tour of the USA, which sees them face off against the MLS All-Star Team on Wednesday. 

"It's great because he's done incredibly well. Now we have to think about what is best to do," Arteta said about Balogun's future. "We want to see him, we want to experience him in the next few games, he played the last game against Nuremberg and [he'll do] so again in the next few games, then we'll make the best decision."

Balogun is one of several players on the fringes of the Arsenal squad who could depart in the coming weeks after the club spent over £200 million on Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber. One of those who Arteta would be most eager to move on is Nicolas Pepe, the one-time club record signing who did not travel on the preseason tour to the USA. 

A midtable Saudi Arabian club expressed an initial interest in Pepe last week, however, there is currently a significant difference between the salary expectations of his suitors in the Pro League and the player himself. Arsenal are believed to be willing to accept a nominal fee or even consider a contract termination if it helps to get the final year of his £7.3 million salary off their books.