According to reports in the Telegraph, Arsenal have added former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli as one of their prime summer targets but the Gunners have ruled out a move for their former captain Cesc Fabregas. The controversial 23 year old looks set to be sold by AC Milan in the summer and the Italian has a huge admirer in Arsene Wenger.
There is no surprise that Wenger is in the market to sign a quality striker who can challenge Olivier Giroud up front for a starting eleven spot. Though the Gunners have been linked to real Madrid duo Alvaro Morata and Karim Benzema alongside QPR’s Loic Remy, Balotelli’s name is doing the rounds currently around the Emirates.
The AC Milan striker had a good season personally despite the Rosonerri finishing eighth in the Serie A standings, scoring 16 goals and grabbing 6 assists in 38 appearences for the San Siro outfit.
Balotelli was sold by Manchester City for £24m in January 2013 after a string of bust-ups which prematurely ended his City career. However, the Italian club are now willing to cash in on him to raise funds as they aim to build for the coming season.
The report claims that Wenger will travel to Brazil for the World Cup to complete moves for his reported targets and the Frenchman had earlier praised Balotelli in 2009 saying, “I am keeping an eye out for Balotelli, a player I like very much. In my view he can be one of the best.”
David Amoyal, staff reporter for the Gianluca Di Marzio website and Serie A pundit however paid no heed to the story.
@tc917 I haven’t heard anything at all about him leaving, I honestly don’t read what others report, it’s just noise to me
— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) June 2, 2014
Wenger is known to be a strict disciplinarian throughout his career and it would be interesting to see if the Arsenal manager continues to pursue his interest on a player who has been better known for his off field controversies.
Will Wenger sacrifice his thorough standards finally for seeking silverware finally in a club which holds itself tall in the entire English top flight football?