Arsenal

Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Mario Balotelli, Loic Remy and Mathieu Debuchy

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 25: Loic Remy of France controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group E match between Ecuador and France at Maracana on June 25, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2014

Bolstering the attack remains a priority at the Emirates Stadium as Arsene Wenger's summer pledge continues to link a number of elite strikers with a move to the north London club.

The Gunners boss is evidently aiming high in his efforts, with several World Cup stars the latest to be placed on Wenger's summer shortlist.

Mario Balotelli is one man the Arsenal boss claims not to want, but rumours continue to persist regarding not only the fiery Italian, but Loic Remy and Mathieu Debuchy, too.

 

Mario Balotelli, Milan

NATAL, BRAZIL - JUNE 24:  Mario Balotelli of Italy reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Following Milan vice-president Barbara Berlusconi's recent claims that Balotelli is a "replaceable" player in the Rossoneri's line-up, the striker's agent Mino Raiola has added fuel to the fire with his latest comments on a potential departure.

Club CEO Adriano Galliani has given Baloteli his support to remain at the San Siro, but when speaking to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Simone Bargellini of Sky Sports), Raiola responded directly to Berlusconi:

I appreciate the (AC Milan's CEO, Adriano) Galliani's words, but now I want to reply even to Barbara Berlusconi's ones. If Barbara Berlusconi thinks that Balotelli is replaceable then she can call me in for a meeting, and then we'll find a solution.

I remember that Mario had other important offers. He is at AC Milan for a heart reason, I don't know if it is the same for her.

Balotelli started in all three of Italy's group matches at the World Cup, but his reputation as a bad boy once again came to the fore after news of a dressing room rift with coach Cesare Prandelli emerged, as per beIN Sports' Tancredi Palmeri:

Wenger has previously denied interest in Balotelli, per the Daily Mail's Jonny Singer, but the volume of persisting speculation over a move to Arsenal suggests a degree of mistrust in the media toward Wenger's comments. Could he be trying to close a deal under the radar?

He may feel as though he's the mentor who can finally reel in the 23-year-old's meaner streak in what presents an interesting debate as to how valuable talent is when risked alongside a volatile temper.

Certainly, all is not well at Milan right now, and Arsenal have a dire need for the footballing qualities Balotelli possesses.

 

Loic Remy, Queens Park Rangers

A lower-profile forward associated for some time as the latest French star to be added to the Arsenal roster is QPR's Remy, who appears likely to leave Loftus Road this summer.

David Vincent/Associated Press

Remy is currently on international duty in Brazil, but Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail says the Gunners are growing "increasingly confident" of landing their man in the months to come. 

Ex-Newcastle United striker Andy Cole, seemingly of the impression that Remy is still a Magpie, is quoted by beIN Sports' Andy Kerr as saying the striker wants to play among the European elite:

Having tied up fourth in the Premier League last season, that is something Wenger's outfit can indeed offer, and the prospect of partnering compatriot Olivier Giroud up front at the Emirates may also be an intriguing opportunity for Remy to consider.

 

Mathieu Debuchy, Newcastle United

And in the interest of Arsenal's French contingent growing this summer, it could be a case of one in, one out as Debuchy's chances of replacing Bacary Sagna increase.

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - JUNE 15:  Mathieu Debuchy of France controls the ball against Roger Espinoza of Honduras during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group E match between France and Honduras at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 15, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Sagna will complete a free transfer to Manchester City when the transfer window officially opens on July 1, but John Cross of The Mirror reports that an £8 million Debuchy arrival could soften the blow.

Champions League football is a key criterion for the right-back, too, after the former Lille defender told the Evening Chronicle (h/t Sky Sports):

Personally, it’s a great adventure. I have discovered English charm, which is very hard, Newcastle and their extraordinary fans. It’s really incredible to play in that atmosphere.

Having said that, I miss European football and the Champions League in particular. For the moment, I’m concentrating on the World Cup. We’ll see about the rest afterwards.

Matthew Stanger is convinced in his opinion of whom the Gunners would be better off having at full-back, however, praising Sagna's recent World Cup display against Ecuador:

Debuchy has been one of Newcastle United's key players since moving to the club 18 months ago, but it could already be time for the 28-year-old to call time on his north-east adventure.

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