Milan may have Balotelli replacement in £14m Arsenal target

Shakhtar Donestsk striker Douglas Costa has been quoted as saying he would be open to moving to AC Milan and following in the footsteps of Ronaldinho.

AC Milan may have already identified a replacement for Mario Balotelli, who is closing in on a £16 million move back to the Premier League with Liverpool.

The Rossoneri had been linked with a potential move for Porto striker Jackson Martinez, but with little substance to those rumours, Shakhtar Donetsk striker Douglas Costa has emerged as a contender to fill the void left by the ex-Manchester City man.

Mircea Lucescu, the manager of the Ukrainian side, has already admitted that the Italian club could prise the 23-year-old away from Shakhtar this summer, with many of the club’s South American stars keen to move away from the club amid ongoing unrest in Ukraine.

Argentine forward Facundo Ferreyra has already transferred to Newcastle United on a season-long loan from the club and Costa could yet follow.

"Milan have the financial resources and the prestige to sign Douglas Costa," the Romanian coach admitted in a recent interview with Sky Sport.

And it would appear that the Brazilian is also open to the idea, stating in an interview with La Gazetta dello Sport that he was “ready for a big club”.

"Ronaldinho has always been my idol and it would be amazing to get the chance to follow in his footsteps. I would not think twice if the right opportunity came up,” he told the news provider.

Valued around the £14 million mark by Shakhtar, the striker - who can also play on the wing - has previously been linked with a move to the Premier League, amid rumoured interest from Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger is thought to be keen to recruit another striker to the Gunners’ fold in a bid to alleviate some of the pressure on current first-choice forward Olivier Giroud.

But with no bid forthcoming from the north London club, Arsenal may have to move quickly to secure the Brazilian, with any concrete offer from the Rossoneri likely to be too tempting to pass up.

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