Arsenal in pole position to land Italian U21 star

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Arsenal have been handed a major boost in the growing race to sign Mario Balotelli.

The Inter Milan striker is a target for a handful of clubs around europe, but AC Milan and Arsenal were believed to be the favourites for his signature.

However, the Italian giants have seemingly been ruled out of any potential transfer for the want-away striker after the player's agent revealed Balotelli would not be making a move to the the Rossoneri.

"Mario will not go to Milan and there has never been any attempt. This story has gone way out of proportion," agent Mino Raiola told Italian Sky Sports.

Balotelli joined Internazionale from Lumezzane in 2006 after making his Serie C debut the previous year at the age of 15.

The Italian U21 international would have to wait for his chance at the San Siro however, making his debut in December 2007 against Cagliari.

A breakthrough 2008-09 season followed, with Balotelli scoring his first Champions League goal and helping I Nerazzurri win the Scudetto for a 17th time.

The arrival of Jose Mourinho saw a change in fortunes for the 19-year-old though, and Balotelli has been plagued with discipline problems under the reign of 'The Special One'.

His recent omission from the Champions League clash with Chelsea, which occurred after an altercation between player and manager, has left the maverick striker looking for the exit door in Italy.

Arsene Wenger is expected to make a striker addition when the transfer window re-opens, with the Emirates club linked to a string of players.

Balotelli would add both power and pace to the Gunners forward line, and with Wenger's reputation for bringing the best out of young talent, it could be a great move for both parties.

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