So, to our utter consternation, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has batted away suggestions that he wants to sign Mario Balotelli this summer.
The Daily Mail reports:
Wenger, appearing on beIN Sport’s World Cup show, was asked by Ruud Gullit if he was buying the former Manchester City striker, but responded: ‘No. No, that’s pure invention.
‘We cannot believe absolutely everything that is on internet or is in newspapers.
‘Sometimes it’s created by agents or by press who needs news. But in that case, it’s not true.’
Despite the headlines from some sources, this doesn’t mean that Arsenal aren’t interested in the player. It simply suggests that there no negotiations taking place right now.
But we are growing increasingly concerned by Wenger’s apparent indecision in the market. Arsenal desperately need to add to their forward line – to give it a bit more variety – and Balotelli seems like a fantastic option.
At a reported fee of £27 million he represents a real bargain – someone that will guarantee you 20 goals next season and add muscle and teeth to a fancy side which crumbles against sterner opposition.
Pride comes before a fall and we sometimes find Wenger a little bit too proud to admit that the wider public might have a better opinion than him in terms of some signings. How could he not like Balotelli as a player? How could he not see that the Italian offers qualities that Arsenal don’t currently have?
Down the road, Jose Mourinho knows what he wants and makes his feelings publicly known about players. But all we get from Wenger is denials and we wonder whether there is a clear game plan for signings this summer or whether Arsenal will be involved in another desperate last day scramble in the summer window.
Balotelli offers the pace, strength and the machiavellian attitude that Arsenal lacks – someone to pull the club through the sort of games (like Liverpool away) that they keep getting tonked in because they can’t mix the beautiful football with the uglier, more physical stuff that is so necessary at times.
The mind boggles – Arsenal fans: what do you think about Wenger’s transfer plans?