According to a report in Metro, Arsenal FC are all set to make a summer move for AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli, with the help of sponsors Puma.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is said to be interested in signing Balotelli in the summer to bolster his striking options, which currently is limited to Olivier Giroud and Niklas Bendtner. Having a penchant for not paying over the top for players, Wenger has balked at the £40 million price tag that AC Milan have placed on their star striker.
However, Puma, who recently signed a 5 year kit deal with Arsenal worth £150 million, are set to provide a solution to this problem. According to reports in Italy, the German sportswear giant wants to help Arsenal finance a deal to bring the 23-year-old to the Emirates Stadium in the summer.
Puma are also the sponsors of Balotelli and they are keen to bring two of their key brands together in order to increase their visibility. In this respect, they are willing to stump up as much as £15 million of any deal to make the transfer happen.
Arsenal are currently lacking in their striking department, with Olivier Giroud the first choice for Wenger, with him relying on the unpredictable Bendtner for backup. Fench striker Yaya Sanogo, who arrived in the summer, is out with injury and is unlikely to return this season. As a result, Arsenal have been reliant on their midfielders for the goals. A move for Balotelli would add some much needed quality in the final third, and increase their potency in attack.
Balotelli has previously spent two and half seasons in the Premier League with Arsenal’s title rivals Manchester city from July 2010 to January 2013, scoring 30 goals in 80 appearances. However, since his move to Milan, he has become far more prolific and has scored 25 goals in just 38 matches for the San Siro club.