Report: Arsenal in pole position to land Balotelli

Mario Balotelli -  San Siro, Milan, Italy

Mario Balotelli is almost certain to leave AC Milan this summer and it is being suggested in England and Italy that Arsenal are most likely to sign him.

For months it has looked likely that Mario Balotelli will quit AC Milan at the end of the season and it seems he could be on his way to Arsenal.

The ex-Manchester City man is rarely out of the newspapers in Italy but often for non-footballing reasons as he continues to court controversy.

Balotelli's form this season has been inconsistent with 14 Serie A goals and some moments of magic to look back on, but also some lacklustre performances and unprofessional acts off the pitch.

The player's agent Mino Raiola has hinted at Balotelli leaving Italy partly to get out of the intense media spotlight and results on the pitch have made a transfer as good as certain.

Milan have missed out on the Champions League and require a spectacular last-day turnaround to even qualify for the Europa League, so Balotelli isn't likely to hang around.

Monaco have been linked with the Italian international over the last few weeks but the Daily Star, backed up by several Italian sources, suggests that Arsenal are favourites to land Super Mario.

It is suggested that a deal for Balotelli would cost around £20m but Arsene Wenger is said to be determined to pair the enigmatic marksman with Olivier Giroud.

Arsenal have also been linked with Real Madrid marksman Karim Benzema, but Balotelli's Premier League experience with Manchester City and determination to leave his current club could give him the edge.

Any talks could begin sooner rather than later as Balotelli could play a starring role for Italy at the World Cup, which would cause his value to rise hugely.

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