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Folarin Balogun shuns Nigeria, holds talks about playing for US

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United States caretaker coach Anthony Hudson has revealed talks had taken place with Folarin Balogun about the striker switching international allegiance.

The 21-year-old was born in the US to Nigerian parents but raised in England, and can play for any of those three countries.

Balogun, who is on loan at French club Reims from Arsenal, has featured for England in four different youth teams.

He withdrew from the England Under-21 squad this week due to an injury.

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“As I’ve said before, we’ve had dialogue,” said Hudson.

Balogun has scored 17 times for Reims in Ligue 1 this season and is just two goals behind the division’s joint top scorers Kylian Mbappe and Jonathan David.

He has previously said he would be open to representing Nigeria and still has the choice of which country to play for as he has not appeared for the England senior side competitively.

Balogun was named in the England Under-21 squad for friendlies against France and Croatia in March but withdrew because of injury.

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The US team have been in Florida preparing for a Concacaf Nations League game in Grenada on Friday.

Hudson said: “We’ve spoken [to Balogun]. He’s out here having a bit of a break and then some training, and we’ve had some discussions.

“I think it’s been good because it’s been an opportunity for us just to share about our programme and who we are and what we do and that’s it. I hope we get the chance to speak with him again.

“It’s been good and I know a few of the guys have spoken to him as well.”

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