Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has denied reports that his club is close to securing a deal for the AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli.
The controversial AC Milan and Italy striker has constantly been linked with a summer move to Emirates Stadium but Asrene Wenger has claimed today that this story is a “pure invention”. “We cannot believe absolutely everything that is on the internet or in the papers. Sometimes it is created by agents or by press who need news. But in this case, it’s not true.” Wenger said in his interview with beIN Sport.
Arsenal are in the market for a quality striker as Olivier Giroud is the only world class goal scorer at the disposal of Wenger and apart from Balotelli, Karim Benzama and Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid are the realistic options for the London based club.
Wenger has himself said earlier that Arsenal will be signing a striker this summer as his side lacked quality replacements for Olivier Giroud whenever he was not available last season. And Wenger wants to avoid this scenario in the coming season as he wants to make serious challenge for the Premier League title.
Rumours of Balotelli’s possible move to Arsenal started when Barbara Berlusconi, vice-president of AC Milan confirmed earlier that the striker could leave the club this summer. “Balotelli is a great player,” Berlusconi told Milan’s official site. “But the way I see it, I don’t believe that someone can be irreplaceable. We will see what happens.”
Rumours of Balotelli to Arsenal got increased when Mino Raiola, agent of the player, suggested that his client may be interested in a move to London from Milan. He said: “Arsenal are a fantastic club. Only eight or 10 clubs in the world can afford Mario Balotelli – like all premium players, and he is one of the greatest. Anything is possible.”
The key reason behind Arsenal’s decision to cool down their interest in Balotelli is said to be the controversial nature of the striker. During his tenure with Manchester City, Balotelli was the main subject of gossips for all tabloids and reportedly, Wenger wants to avoid such players.
Meanwhile, AC Milan are still interested in selling Mario Balotelli as the player himself is not happy with his current situation at Milanello. New boss Pippo Inzaghi is also reluctant to keep the player. Recent reports coming from Italy have linked Milan with a move for Monaco striker Radamel Falcao. Club President Berlusconi is a big admirer of former Atletico Madrid striker and he is planning to utilize the money coming out of Balotelli’s transfer for the purchase of the Colombian.