ARSENAL striker Folarin Balogun has tested positive for Covid on the cusp of completing his move to Middlesbrough which could potentially delay the move.

The 20-year-old has agreed terms on a loan switch to Teesside until the end of the season with the move expected to be confirmed next week but Arsenal confirmed the news this afternoon as Balogun was ruled out of their FA Cup game against Nottingham Forest.

Chris Wilder will have been hoping to have his Balogun available for next weekend’s game against Reading. There is no worry that the move will not go ahead but the positive Covid test may well delay proceedings and rule him out for his Riverside bow next weekend.

Prior to this weekend’s win over Mansfield in the FA Cup, Wilder said: “We are hopeful that before the Reading game, we can do one or two, and that before the end (of the window), we’ll have done the number that I’m looking at.

“We’re in conversation with a couple of Premier League clubs regarding loans. I’ve got to thank the owner, and the work that’s gone on behind the scenes with Neil Bausor and Kieran Scott. We’ve been working very closely for quite a long time.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is keen to send Balogun on loan for the second half of the season, with the England Under-21 international having made just two Premier League appearances in the whole of the first half of the campaign, and Boro officials have agreed the terms of a deal that would take the 20-year-old forward to Teesside.

Balogun’s deal is expected to be a straight loan without a clause for a permanent signing, with Arteta keen to give the youngster an opportunity to prove himself in Arsenal’s senior squad last season.