The blueprint of a deal for Mario Balotelli to join Arsenal could be in place by the end of this week.
Arsene Wenger is set to drop his normal approach to negotiating transfers with third parties and meet the Italian striker’s agent with Goal.com suggesting the meeting will take place this Saturday.
“Arsene Wenger will meet Mario Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola on Saturday as Arsenal close in on the £25 million signing of the Italy striker,” reports Goal.
Arsenal have been one of the sides most heavily linked with making an approach for Balotelli, as the striker considers a future away from AC Milan.
He’s thought to be open to the idea of leaving the San Siro after a disappointing season for the club in Serie A last year and the Gunners have emerged as one of the favourites to pull off a deal.
Should Wenger manage to thrash out an initial framework of plans with Raiola over how the deal can be achieved then the Frenchman must be praised for something he’s previously called ‘swimming with the sharks’.
Wenger isn’t a manager who likes doing a lot of business with agents and third parties, preferring to talk directly with players, as he did to convince Mesut Ozil that Arsenal was the right move from Real Madrid.
Third parties drive the cost of deals up and while the Gunners sit on a big pile of money, Wenger has never liked his club to be ripped off in any transfer negotiating period.
The meeting is a good idea for the boss to gauge how difficult going after a deal for Balotelli is going to be.
There are plenty of potential issues such as the player’s terms, with Arsenal one of the more socialist clubs in the Premier League when it comes to wage deals and structures.
It will be interesting to see the developments next week if this meeting takes place at the weekend as Goal suggests.