Arsenal favourites to sign Balotelli ahead of Chelsea

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Football News

Arsenal have moved ahead of London rivals Chelsea as the bookmakers' favourites to sign Mario Balotelli from AC Milan, it has emerged.

Paddy Power have the Gunners priced at 5/2 to be Balotelli's next permanent club, while Chelsea have drifted out to 10/3 after being the 3/1 frontrunners last month.

The Italy international was linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium in February, with reports claiming that Arsenal's sponsors Puma could help fund a £25m transfer. The 23-year-old has endured a frustrating campaign with Milan, who are currently in the bottom half of the Serie A table, but has managed to score 12 league goals this term.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is expected to enter the transfer market for a new striker this summer, with Nicklas Bendtner set to depart the club at the end of the season. Yaya Sanogo is still developing, leaving France international Olivier Giroud as the club's only reliable frontman.

Balotelli, who won the Premier League title during his three-year stint with Manchester City, is still only 23 years old and has the best years of his career ahead of him. And while his spell in England was tarnished by off-field headlines and temperament issues, the general consensus is that Balotelli has matured since moving back to Milan.

Whether Wenger would be prepared to take a chance on the former wild-child is unclear, but the latest odds suggest that the Frenchman would be tempted to gamble if the opportunity arises in the near future.

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Mario Balotelli
AC Milan

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