Arsenal launched a derisory £10 million offer for AC MIlan striker Mario Balotelli after Italy exited the World Cup at the group stage, reports Adrian Durham of talkSPORT.
The Drive Time presenter isn't usually famous for his exclusives, instead splurging out hatchet jobs one after the other, but in this case he seems to have gathered some interesting information regarding Arsenal's transfer activity.
He claims to have met an old friend, who holds close connections in Italian football. The unnamed source told him that Arsene Wenger contacted AC Milan to offer just £10 million for troubled striker Balotelli, hoping that their poor domestic season, coupled with Italy's poor World Cup, would convince San Siro officials to lower the asking price.
£30 million asking price
The offer may have taken AC Milan by surprise, but Arsenal fans have heard it all before from Wenger. The Gunners may have enjoyed a fair amount of success under the Frenchman, but they have rarely been treated to big money acquisitions in the transfer market.
Wenger was reportedly offered the chance to seal a quick deal for Balotelli. AC Milan wanted £30 million but obviously the Arsenal boss had other ideas. The offer is all the more surprising because of Arsenal's desperate need for a striker and extravagant transfer budget.
No one can question that Wenger does not understand value for money. The frugal Frenchman has picked up plenty of bargains in his time and showed he is willing to spend big by buying Mesut Ozil for over £40 million.
In that sense, £10 million may have been a better representation of Balotelli's value than £30 million. The striker has been nothing short of erratic in his short career and hardly cut the mould of a world-class finisher in Brazil. However, his image alone is worth more than £10 million. Although controversial, there is no doubt Balotelli brings media attention wherever he goes.
The Press Association claim that Arsenal's pursuit of Balotelli is now over with no bid expected for the Italian striker. Instead Wenger is pursuing a £22 million deal for Alexis Sanchez, who Wenger believes can become a striker in the Premier League.
Sanchez has operated on the right-wing throughout his career but scored 19 goals for Barcelona last season. Wenger thinks the Chilean can challenge Olivier Giroud up front as well as offer something different from the target man.