Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Gunners' Move for Mario Balotelli Would Be a Mistake

Michael WadeAnalyst IIIFebruary 17, 2014

Mario Balotelli is reportedly a target for Arsenal.
Mario Balotelli is reportedly a target for Arsenal.Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

Arsenal are reportedly ready to turn their attention to AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli this summer as they look to bolster their attacking options.

The Gunners were linked with a number of big names leading up to the conclusion of the January transfer window, although no signings materialised.

That has left Arsene Wenger to see out the season with the resources he already has available to him as he chases silverware in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

Metro's Jamie Sanderson reports that Wenger met Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola to discuss a possible move for the Italy international:

Wenger met Mino Riola in London on Monday to discuss the possibility of Balotelli moving to the Emirates.

The negotiations are said to have gone well – and Arsenal are now weighing up slapping in an offer at the end of the season.

Balotelli has been Milan's star man this season, despite their troubles, netting 10 times and assisting three in 18 appearances, per ESPN FC.

However, A.C. Milan have struggled in Serie A and look like they may not qualify for Europe next season. They are currently 10th and 18 points off the Champions League qualification spots, per Sky Sports.

That could lead Balotelli to look elsewhere in order to continue playing at the highest level, but Arsenal would not be making the right decision in signing him.

Schalke's Julian Draxler would be better suited to help Arsenal than Balotelli.
Schalke's Julian Draxler would be better suited to help Arsenal than Balotelli.Frank Augstein/Associated Press/Associated Press

There is no doubting that Balotelli is of the standard required to play for the Gunners. He has shown in the past that he has the ability to play for any side in the world, but it is his temperament and behaviour off the pitch that may disrupt an otherwise settled team.

Wenger has put together a side capable of challenging for honours, with little in the way of troublemakers on the pitch. A signing like Julian Draxler from Schalke, whom Arsenal were linked with in January, per Eliot Rothwell of the Daily Mirror, is the kind of player that would fit nicely into the team.

Robin van Persie is said to be interested in returning to Arsenal.
Robin van Persie is said to be interested in returning to Arsenal.Jon Super/Associated Press

Another name that fits the bill is Robin van Persie, who has been linked with a return to Arsenal by James Dickenson at Express.

It is not even certain that Balotelli would be keen on a return to the Premier League. As reported by Sky Sports, the player recently admitted that he did not miss many aspects of life in England.

Wenger will undoubtedly be looking at attacking targets to strengthen Arsenal in the summer, and rightly so after seeing his side struggle to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League over the last month. However, bringing Balotelli into the fold would do more harm than good.