Mario Balotelli still interests Chelsea & Arsenal

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AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has a formal transfer offer on the table from Liverpool, but Gazzetta dello Sport believe his future is far from decided and list their Premier League rivals Chelsea and Arsenal as clubs still with a genuine interest in signing the polarising Italian predator.

Liverpool opened talks with the Rossoneri over a late deal for Balotelli last night, despite Brendan Rodgers insisting earlier this summer that he wasn't interested in bringing the former Manchester City marksman back to the North West.

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Rodgers has changed tact though and is still desperate to sign another proven centre-forward before the transfer window slams shut, although it looks like there is stiff competition to get a stunning late deal over the line.

Agent talks

Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola flew to London last night with the remit of finally sorting out the feared forward's future, after a frustrating transfer window where it's looked more and more likely that he'll stay at the San Siro for another season.

Raiola is one of the most powerful agent's in Europe and will be a very busy man in the last 11 days of the window, although interest in Balotelli is probably his main focus at this present moment.

The super agent also represents Arsenal's top defensive target Kostas Manolas, so Gazzetta believe the Gunners will kill two birds with one stone and enquire about Balotelli and potentially hijack Liverpool's late move before the week is out.

Hefty salary demands

Chelsea are also cited as a European giant with a long-term interest in Balotelli, particularly as they are definitely still in the market for a striker and are one of the few clubs who could come close to meeting Balotelli's whopping wage demands.

The 24-year-old is reported by The Times as asking for £160,000-a-week to move on this summer, which is one of the reasons why Liverpool are still some way off finding the right terms to complete their final major summer signing.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers was initially keen on a loan deal including a number of clauses which would allow Liverpool to send the Azzurri hitman back to Milan if problems over attitude or discipline arose, but that opening offer was quickly knocked back.

Milan are far more keen on a permanent transfer than any loan agreement, which means if Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool are serious about taking a gamble on a top-class striker with serious baggage there is still plenty of time to make a marquee signing over the next two weeks.

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