Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger should forget about AC Milan bad boy Mario Balotelli and concentrate on signing Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic this summer, according to former Gunners’ star Alan Smith.
The former striker-turned-pundit believes Mandzukic, who is reportedly surplus to requirements at the Allianz Arena following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund, would be a much safer bet than ex-Manchester City frontman Balotelli.
“Balotelli doesn’t strike me as an Arsene Wenger sort of player,” Smith told talkSPORT. “He’s someone who commands the headlines and there’s always something going on with him off the field.
“He’s a great player on his day but, for me, he doesn’t have enough of them. I just can’t see him at Arsenal.
“Wenger will be bringing in a striker this summer, hopefully a very good one. There are a few out there at the moment, just look at the likes of Mandzukic. But Balotelli? I don’t think so.”
Wenger is looking for a top-class striker to come to the Emirates Stadium and ease the pressure on France international Olivier Giroud, who grew increasingly tired as the 2013/14 campaign wore on after playing so many matches in the first half of the campaign. Giroud’s international teammates Karim Benzema and Loic Remy have also been strongly linked with moves to the north London outfit.
But Wenger has added Balotelli, who has scored 30 goals in 54 appearances for Milan since arriving at the San Siro in January 2013, to his list of summer transfer targets despite his bad-boy reputation.
Arsenal have been offered the chance to sign the 23-year-old Italy international for £30m, while Mandzukic - who has also been linked with Chelsea - would cost around £10m less.