Mario Balotelli is desperate to force through a move to Arsenal before the end of next week because he wants to leave Italy and is worried the Emirates Stadium club will sign someone else if it takes too long.
According to the Daily Mail, the AC Milan star is determined to leave Serie A and his native country because of the fallout from Italy's group stage exit at the 2014 World Cup, which he feels has been making him a scapegoat. Arsenal have been linked with a surprise move for the explosive striker for some time now, but the report claims he is now more determined than ever to see it happen.
Arsene Wenger needs another striker or forward and the Gunners manager is expected to make a significant addition in that area before the summer transfer window closes in September. Balotelli scored the winner against England in the opening group game and was lauded for his performance.
The attitude towards him changed, however, after he missed a couple of good chances in the shock defeat to Costa Rica and was bad tempered in the crucial defeat to Uruguay, where he was lucky to only receive a yellow card after one particularly bad tackle.
Glimpses of genius
Balotelli's attitude has been an issue throughout his career and his time at Manchester City was hallmarked by incidents happening off the pitch as much as on it. Such is his talent, however, that teams will always be willing to take a chance on him, so Wenger being linked with him is not a huge surprise.
The French tactician already has Olivier Giroud as a centre-forward and the France international's selfless hard work is in stark contrast to the individuality of Balotelli. If Arsenal do want to sign him, they are reportedly going to have to pay as much as £25million.
The report claims that Balotelli's desire to move to somewhere more cosmopolitan than Milan is behind the reasoning for him wanting Arsenal and London. However, he is worried that the Gunners' striker search will see them opt for another name and he wants to push through a deal as quickly as possible.
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