A permanent move away from Arsenal for Blackpool’s loan star Dan Ballard hasn’t been ruled out.
The 21-year-old is due to meet with Arsenal officials this week to discuss his future, according to football website Football Insider.
A number of clubs in the Championship, including the Seasiders, are keen to seal a loan move for the defender.
But it’s been claimed the Gunners would also consider a permanent transfer for the Northern Ireland international, who is unlikely to force his way into Mikel Arteta’s first-team plans.
Nevertheless, a season-long loan move appears to be the most likely option for Ballard, who still has two years remaining on his contract.
Ballard, who has yet to make his senior bow for the Premier League side, finds himself behind the likes of Rob Holding and Gabriel at the Emirates Stadium.
Ballard celebrates Blackpool’s recent play-off triumph
According to reports, Arsenal are also interested in signing Brighton and Hove Albion and England centre-back Ben White, which would force him further down the pecking order.
Ballard made 38 appearances under Neil Critchley last season and was a key member of their promotion-winning side.
The Seasiders have already strengthened in the centre of defence this summer, bringing Oliver Casey in from Leeds United on a three-year deal.
Ballard clearly enjoyed his season-long spell at Bloomfield Road, something that could work in the Seasiders favour in their bid to bring him back for a second campaign.
“Thank you to all the staff, players and fans at Blackpool for making me feel so welcome during my time here,” Ballard posted to his Instagram page after the conclusion of his loan spell.
“I loved every moment and it was even more special to finish with a win at Wembley.