Club president confirms Arsenal end their pursuit in signing World Cup striker
AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi admitted that he was confident of selling the former Manchester City man to a “top English club” for €35m, with Arsenal reportedly believed to be interested in signing him.
However, the 23-year-old’s poor form in the summer tournament in Brazil saw his value drop and the Premier League club interested in him have ended their interest.
“Other than Italy, I’m the one who lost at the World Cup. I was selling Balotelli to an English team for several millions, but, after this World Cup, who will buy him now?” Berlusconi told Gazzetta Dello Sport.
“I was going to sell it to a top English club for €35 million, now the deal has stalled,” Milan president explained.
Balotelli scored during Italy’s 2-1 victory against England in the opening game of the World Cup. However, the Azzurri star had a poor tournament in Brazil – managing only one goal as Italy were knocked out of the summer event from the group stages.
Last month, Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola admitted the Italian international’s move to the Emirates could be on the cards as the striker was unhappy with his current employers.
“Arsenal are a fantastic club. Only eight or 10 clubs in the world can afford Mario Balotelli – like all premium players, and he is one of the greatest. [Will the move happen?] Anything is possible,” Raiola said.
With Berlusconi’s latest comments, it looks like the Gunners have ended their interest in signing Balotelli in the summer transfer window. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could shift his focus elsewhere in signing a striker to strengthen the north London club’s squad for the new season.