German tabloid Bild has suggested a potential swap deal is on the cards involving two reported Arsenal transfer targets.
It’s not often the German publication appears in the HITC transfer bin but the idea that Bayern Munich star Mario Mandzukic could be exchanged for AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli is flawed for several reasons.
Milan seem determined to cash in on the troublesome Italian who is so often in the news for all the wrong reasons, creating the first barrier against him potentially working alongside Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola is one of the most demanding managers in the European game and while Balotelli’s recent engagement suggests he could be about to settle down, there are potential problems.
Any video footage of Bayern Munich training under Guardiola shows the Spaniard challenging his players the second they do anything wrong.
Remember the pictures of Roberto Mancini grabbing Balotelli by the scruff of the bib he struggled to put on?
There could be a repeat and the striker Arsenal are reported to have been looking at for some time could face an extended spell on the bench behind Robert Lewandowski if he gets in Guardiola’s face.
Guardiola is also a manager similar to Mauricio Pochettino, Brendan Rodgers and Jose Mourinho in the respect that he demands his attacking players but in the hard yards defensively for the good of the team.
Balotelli has never been that player whether it’s at domestic or international level and it’s hard to see him transforming his laid back technique as soon as he hits the Bayern Munich training pitch.
It’s another reason Guardiola would be likely to bench Balotelli should he have the Italian striker in his squad and that’s something Mario simply won’t settle for.
Mandzukic going the other way makes a lot more sense but it’s a deal which is unlikely to happen if the Serie A giants try and have Balotelli included in the same package.
Balotelli could be bait to stop a bidding war from breaking out because Milan will be aware that Arsenal, and plenty of other European sides, have cash to spend in the transfer market this summer.
Rubbish Rating: Mandzukic heading to Milan is realistic but Balotelli coming the other way certainly isn’t.