Arsenal Transfer News: Mario Balotelli Agent Lowers Asking Price for Milan Exit

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2014

Italy's Mario Balotelli attends a press conference at Arena Pernambuco stadium in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 19, 2014. Italy plays in group D at the soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

It seems the Mario Balotelli transfer saga has only just begun with reports surfacing that the player's agent has negotiated a lowering of his potential transfer fee to leave the San Siro.

101 Great Goals writes that Gianluca Di Marzio of Sky Italia has commented about the potential deal to take Balotelli to Arsenal next season, claiming agent Mino Raiola has met with AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani.

Di Marzio says Raiola has agreed that his client can leave for 37 million rather than the 45 million Milan had hoped for, per 101 Great Goals. The Gunners will also have to pay any fee for Balotelli upfront and in full, rather than in instalments. 

However, Daniella Matar, an Italian sports correspondent for The Associated Press, claims Balotelli's agent has confirmed Milan do not wish to sell their player. She tweeted:

Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

Intriguingly, John Cross of the Mirror quotes Raiola being much more coy about a deal, complimenting the size and stature of the Gunners. He said, per Cross:

Arsenal is a fantastic club in London. Only 10 clubs in the world maximum could afford Mario—like all premium players—and he is one of the greatest. I won’t make any further comment until after the transfer window closes.

Balotelli scored the winning goal in Italy's opening World Cup match against England and will be looking for more as his country take on Costa Rica on Friday.

The 23-year-old is likely to be sold by Milan after the club failed to qualify for the Champions League next season and must now trim its wage bill.

Despite this, the player had a good season at the San Siro and returned some good figures. He hit 16 goals in 38 appearances in Serie A and the Champions League, per, and he provided six assists during the campaign.

Balotelli is potentially one of the best strikers in the world, but it feels like trouble and disharmony follow him. It is questionable if such a character would interest Wenger as he looks to rebuild his attack, which lacked cohesion toward the end of the previous campaign.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 18:  Mario Balotelli of Italy during a training session on June 18, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Balotelli has the ability to produce the electric, but whether or not he can be disciplined is another question.

If Wenger does move for Balotelli, he will have to father him to get the best out of his skill set, and that could cause wider issues in the squad.

Ultimately, this philosophy did not work with the player for Roberto Mancini in the long term, but it is worth remembering that Balotelli has a Premier League winner's medal to his namesomething the Gunners squad members cannot claim.

Balotelli would bring a different kind of flair to Wenger's team and could give them the firepower to move forward in 2014-15.