AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli wants £100,000-a-week after tax to join Arsenal this summer.
That's according to the Daily Mail, who report that the Italy international is now Arsene Wenger's top striker target with Loic Remy's set to join Liverpool. Arsenal had actually pulled out of the race to sign the Frenchman after refusing to meet his wage demands, so Balotelli's £5m-a-year request may get short shrift at the Emirates Stadium too.
That package, which would make him one of the club's highest earners as the figure quoted is after tax, would come on top of a £16m asking price set by his Italian employers.
Wenger today said a striker is no longer a priority for Arsenal, instead insisting the club will be focusing on a new defender and goalkeeper.
Arsenal striker situation
But it's hard to believe Arsenal will start next season in exactly the same position they finished the last - without an out-and-out goalscorer to push Olivier Giroud for a starting place.
The signing of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona was an excellent coup for the Gunners, but the Chilean winger is not direct competition for Giroud. With Nicklas Bendtner and Marouane Chamakh departed, the French international's only competition is the young forward Yaya Sanogo.
While the squad overall has been strengthened, Arsenal's title challenge last year came unstuck as Wenger was forced to rely too heavily on Giroud - especially when goalscoring midfielders like Aaron Ramsey went down injured for long periods.
World Cup scouting mission
The Arsenal boss was reportedly at the World Cup in Brazil to run the rule over possible targets, with Balotelli among those mentioned. Mario Mandzukic, who has since completed a move to Atletico Madrid, was another, as was Colombia's Jackson Martinez.
Martinez revealed he is an Arsenal fan this summer, and may yet be the man to rival Giroud but as it stands Arsenal are thought to be looking towards the Italian.
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