Arsene Wenger has decided to move decisively in order to prevent Monaco from landing Mario Balotelli, and has offered AC Milan £25million for the forward, according to reports in Italy.
The Daily Express, citing Italian sources - possibly Corriere dello Sport - claim that the Frenchman is worried that he will miss out on the Italian striker, and so has lodged a formal offer in an attempt to scupper any transfer plans Monaco had. Arsenal have long been linked with Balotelli given their need for a new frontman, and Gunners fans will be buoyed by the news of a £25million proposal having been put forward.
Corriere speculate that the interest in the 23-year-old hit fever pitch after his match-winning goal against England on Saturday, and the Express even states that Monaco were prepared to give Milan Radamel Falcao in an exchange deal. Whilst Wenger’s offer isn’t quite as eye-catching as that, it will have most certainly turned things up a notch, and now new San Siro boss Filippo Inzaghi will be forced to make a decision.
It’s thought that the Italian is happy to allow Balotelli to leave the club this summer as he looks to build his own side moving forward, but it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll hold out for more than the aforementioned fee Arsenal have placed on the table. Regardless of his worth as a player in Milan the club are sure to realise that his market value could be significantly bolstered if he continues to impress at the World Cup.
If indeed they do request more from Wenger then the feasibility of the deal could go down to whether or not sponsors Puma are willing to stump up cash to fill the gap. It’s previously been suggested that the sportswear giants would subsidise the cost of a move for Balotelli in a bid to get him to the Emirates Stadium, as they currently have ties with both the player and Arsenal.
A switch for the striker, who managed to find the net 14 times in 30 domestic appearances last season, could well divide opinion in north London, particularly given his poor record of professionalism off the pitch. Numerous incidents have put him in the spotlight of the media for the wrong reasons, and the fact that he has a tendency to be a major source of controversy means that there are certainly safer options to be had.
Arsenal’s fans, let us know what you think. Was Wenger right to bid for Balotelli? Would he be a good fit at the Emirates? Will Milan accept the offer? Comment in the box provided below!