Reports in Italy suggest Mario Balotelli is to become one of Arsenal's primary targets in the coming weeks with new kit supplier Puma helping the North London club complete the deal.
Simon Jones of the Mail Online reports that the controversial former Manchester City player's future is in doubt after Milan supremo Silvio Berlusconi confessed he was unsure what would happen to Balotelli.
Jones also quotes Sky Sport Italia pundit Mario Giunta saying:
Arsenal are very interested in Balotelli and Arsene Wenger would do anything to bring him to London. This operation could be pushed forward by the technical sponsor, who Balotelli shares with Arsenal. To have Balotelli in the Premier League for Arsenal would be an important investment.
It would be a surprise if Arsene Wenger signed Balotelli, given the striker's unpredictable character, but the Italian would certainly improve the Gunners' options in the centre-forward position: Arsenal's main positional weakness.
James Horncastle of ESPN FC recently spoke about the striker, comparing his talent and profile to that of Neymar, highlighting that he is still one of the world's most important talents:
A phenomenon within football but also outside it, like Neymar, Balotelli transcends his sport. Both have been on the front cover of Time magazine. Both have already been through more hairstyles in their early 20s than many of us will in a lifetime.
Both are symbols and carry a similar burden to perform and fulfil their promise. Their nations expect. One is at home. The other home away from home.
The 23-year-old has had a mixed and emotional period since his return to Italian football from City but has managed to perform to a good standard in a Milan shirt.
Last season, the player hit 16 goals in 38 games in Serie A and Europe, per WhoScored.com, and provided an additional six assists.
These are figures that Arsenal need from a new striker after the over-reliance on Olivier Giroud for the past 12 months.
Balotelli would split the fanbase on whether they would want him strutting his stuff around the Emirates, but there is no doubting that the player has the ability to achieve at the very highest level.
Wenger might well be the man to get the best out of Balotelli, although it is highly perceivable that the bright lights of London could have a detrimental effect on the player and his form.
City decided enough was enough with Balotelli when it appeared he was disinterested and his reliability plummeted. This is not the type of player Arsenal need if he repeats the bad habits he showed in the Premier League.
But Arsenal do need to address their issues at the point of their attack and Balotelli would bring a different kind of option to the club. Technically he is good enough to play to Wenger's philosophy, he offers the pace that Giroud cannot, and he would enjoy linking up with players such as Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla.
The Gunners' midfield would supply Balotelli with all the ammunition he needs as a striker and he just might trump all of his critics in an Arsenal shirt.
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