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Milan won't sell Arsenal linked striker but admit interest in Gunners talent

Adriano Galliani rubbished claims Mario Balotelli could be sold after reports of a swap deal with Arsenal for Joel Campbell.

Despite denials emanating from both the Arsenal and AC Milan camps, the Gunners remain linked with a move for Rossoneri striker Mario Balotelli.

Arsene Wenger went as far as to call persistent rumours of his side’s interest in the Italian ‘pure invention’ on live television during the World Cup.

And on Monday the Frenchman drove home his stance by suggesting Arsenal’s attack is complete - the same day Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani vehemently denied an offer for Balotelli had arrived from North London.

But according to Tuttosport, Galliani has been formulating a plan to ship the 23-year-old off to the Emirates in the background of late.

The Italian daily maintained on Friday that the Rossoneri transfer guru was prepared to offer Balotelli to Arsenal in exchange for £8 million and Costa Rican prospect Joel Campbell.

Galliani, however, quickly sought to quell enduring speculation about supposed wantaway Balotelli’s future at San Siro when quizzed on the report.

He said: ‘Balotelli has never asked to be sold. He will remain at Milan. 100 per cent does not exist on the transfer market, but a recurring 99.9 per cent does.’

In short, it seems the only way Balotelli will be leaving his current employers this summer is if a considerable offer arrives.

Galliani said much the same prior to the departures of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva two years ago, only to sell when PSG brandished their powerful chequebook.

But as Arsenal and a reportedly sceptical Wenger - not to mention other clubs - don’t seem ready to splash out for Balotelli, it looks as if Galliani’s words may indeed hold true this time around.

The 69-year-old did go on to admit Milan boss Pippo Inzaghi is an admirer of Cambell’s, though remained coy on whether the Serie A giants will make a concrete move for him.

‘Cerci and Campbell? Like many others they are players that have characteristics that are pleasing to our coach,’ Galliani added.

Milan continue to be seen as a frontrunner for Campbell’s signature should he leave the Emirates, as it remains to be seen what Wenger’s plans for the 22-year-old this season are.

The Costa Rica international made an excellent case for inclusion in the Arsenal squad with an impressive World Cup display after his third straight term out on loan last campaign.

Campbell has expressed a desire to prove himself in a Gunners shirt this season amid links with Milan, having landed in North London on Friday after his post-World Cup holiday.

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