According to the Express, Arsene Wenger is lining-up a €19m move for Mario Mandzukic in case he cannot sign Mario Balotelli.
The Gunners have been strongly linked with a move for Balotelli for weeks now, and this past week his agent, Mino Raiola seemed to welcome the overtures from Arsenal:
“Arsenal are a fantastic club,” Raiola told Sky Sports when questioned about reports in the British press linking Balotelli with a move to London.
“Only eight or 10 clubs in the world can afford Mario Balotelli – like all premium players, and he is one of the greatest.” As to whether the move will happen, he said: “Anything is possible.”
I don’t share the enthusiasm for Balotelli that many Arsenal fans have. Yes he is a brilliant talented player but he is also someone that doesn’t believe in the team ethos, something that is very important at Arsenal.
Super Mario is not cheap either. His transfer fee will be around £30m, and add in say a five year contract at £9m per season, then you have Arsenal making a £75m investment in Balotelli. I just don’t see the logic behind that kind of money for him.
Mandzukic on the other hand I think is a much better fit. The Bayern Munich striker scored two goals against Cameroon in Croatia’s 4-0 win on Wednesday and at around £15m, he will cost half what Balotelli will.
The 28-year-old striker has already handed in a transfer request at Bayern Munich after a fall-out with Pep Guardiola and he’s been linked with a number of top European clubs.
If Arsene Wenger can add either striker, and Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell stays at Arsenal next season, then the Gunners attacking options start to look a look brighter than they did at the end of last season.
Who would you rather Arsenal sign, Balotelli Or Mandzukic?