Serie A side Napoli, are ready to hijack Arsenal's move for AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli, as the Italian star closes in on a summer exit according to reports.
The controversial figure has been told by officials at the San Siro that he can leave the club and they will not stand in his way if an offer comes in for him, and with reports suggesting the 23-year-old being close to a move back to England, it's now Napoli who are ready to make a last-ditch bid.
Balotelli, who ended the season as Milan's top goalscorer, has been closely monitored by Arsenal for the last month or so, and it's believed that manager Arsene Wenger is currently in Brazil holding advanced talks with the striker's agents, as they discuss a potential transfer.
It's been suggested that Arsenal will offer around £25 million for the former-Manchester City man, but Milan are keen to put the price-tag up to around £29 million if possible.
A potential move from Milan to Arsenal could seriously be on the cards now for Balotelli as his personal sponsor, PUMA, is now the kit sponsor for The Gunners, and according to numerous reports in the English media, the sponsors may try and help the Premier League side secure the deal.
However, it's not going to be competition-free for Arsenal and Rafael Benitez's side have now declared their interest in the Italian, despite him keen on leaving Italy altogether due to racism issues that have effected him over the past two seasons.
Napoli are on their toes for a striker with fears that star-man Gonzalo Higuain may make a shock move to La Liga giants FC Barcelona, despite his Real Madrid past, and Benitez is keen to find a replacement as soon as possible just in case the Argentine does leave the club.
It's been reported that Lionel Messi is desperate for Barca to sign his counterpart, and Luis Enrique, the new manager at the Nou Camp, may be interested in signing the 26-year-old after getting the advice from Messi.
Reports in Italy have already suggested that a move is officially on the cards for Balotelli with personal terms already agreed with an un-named club, expected to be Arsenal.
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