Blackpool's former loan star could be made available for permanent transfer by Arsenal

Blackpool’s former loan star Dan Ballard could be made available for a permanent transfer this summer.

Thursday, 26th May 2022, 7:00 am

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According to reports, Ballard’s parent club Arsenal are open to selling the 22-year-old with a number of clubs already interested.

According to Goal, sides in England and abroad are interested in the centre-back, who helped the Seasiders win promotion from League One last season.

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Ballard enjoyed another fruitful loan spell, making 30 appearances for the Lions as Gary Rowett’s side went close to the Championship play-offs.

It’s been reported that Millwall would love to sign Ballard permanently, but as it stands their priority is to strengthen in attack.

It’s claimed Ballard and his representatives recently met with Arsenal’s hierarchy to discuss his future.

Ballard could be set for a permanent exit from North London

They mutually agreed the defender will be made available for transfer, but only if the North London club’s valuation is met.

While Mikel Arteta has been impressed with Ballard’s development during the last two seasons, it’s not believed he will be able to force his way into his first-team plans at the Emirates Stadium.

Another loan exit is an option, but with two years still left on his contract Arsenal are willing to let him leave on a permanent basis.

Ballard, who is now a regular starter for Northern Ireland, has yet to make a senior appearance for the Premier League side.

Speaking earlier in the season, Arsenal’s academy manager Per Mertesacker spoke in glowing terms about the progress Ballard has made in recent seasons.

“You get players like Dan Ballard, whose development we are really proud of,” Mertesacker said.

“He was nearly released twice. To come back, work his way up and create a pathway for himself – I’m just so proud of him.

“He’s now a reliable defender, playing international football for Northern Ireland and scoring for Millwall in the Championship. It’s brilliant to see.

“That’s an example of staircasing – taking your time in our system, because there will be a pathway for you if you perform at the right time.”