Puma have told Arsenal to make sure Mario Balotelli has signed before July 10 so he can feature in the press launch of the new kit, reports Metro.
The Gunners are ready to launch a £27 million offer for the Italian striker after Arsene Wenger held encouraging talks with the player's agent over the weekend. Along with Puma, Arsenal are keen to get the deal completed before the official launch of the new kit.
Completing a deal may have been made more likely after Balotelli and Italy were knocked out of the World Cup. The Italian striker was hardly impressive after being substituted at half-time in Italy's 1-0 defeat to Uruguay but the fact he is now free to negotiate a transfer is positive news for Arsenal.
Italy could be knocked out this evening against Uruguay, but could also win the group, but need England to secure all three points against Costa Rica to stand a chance.
Regardless of the situation, Arsenal will try to make sure the deal is completed in time for the initial promotional advertising. Balotelli is one of Puma's biggest athletes and they want him to feature in photoshoots and adverts from day one.
Arsenal know that completing the deal could be lucrative for the club. They were boosted by a flurry of shirt sales following the signing of Mesut Ozil last summer and want to make sure fans can get Balotelli on the back of their shirts when the doors of the club shop open for business.
Wenger, who is currently working as a pundit in Brazil, reportedly met Balotelli's agent to discuss a transfer. However, Arsenal are yet to open official talks with AC Milan regarding a transfer.
The good news for Arsenal is that AC Milan want to sell the striker they bought from Manchester City only 18 months ago. Filippo Inzaghi wants £30 million for the player, but Arsenal are ready to open to bidding at £27 million.
As Arsenal have around £100 million to spend on transfers and wages, negotiating a fee shouldn't be too difficult. Wenger is also reported to have commissioned a £180,000-a-week deal to make sure Balotelli chooses the Emirates Stadium.
ARSENAL STRIKER NEEDS
Wenger is desperate to reinforce his forward line after relying heavily on Olivier Giroud last year. Not only would Balotelli add quality, but also some much needed competition for the Frenchman.
Both Nicklas Bendtner and Park Chu Young have departed meaning Wenger is likely to bring in two strikers. However, Arsenal fans shouldn't expect another big name like Balotelli and may have to settle for a young, unknown European talent cut in the mould of Yaya Sanogo.
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