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“I Didn’t Go To Brazil For Talks & I’ve Never Met Wenger” – Agent
Mario Balotelli’s agent has firmly denied he has held talks with Arsene Wenger and insists AC Milan aren’t interested in selling the striker this summer.
Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that Arsene has made the 23-year-old one of his key summer transfer targets as he looks to bring in a striker to compete with Olivier Giroud next season.
Rumours last week then claimed that Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raiola, had flown to Brazil to hold talks with the boss about a potential switch to the Emirates, with some newspapers suggesting that a £29m deal was close.
AC Milan did little to play down the reports, with managing director Barbara Berlusconi stating that Balotelli wasn’t ‘irreplaceable’, which prompted Raiola to hint that the striker was happy to leave if he wasn’t wanted.
However, the Italian hitman’s agent has now back-tracked and although he still maintains he’s willing to discuss leaving the San Siro if the club make it clear they no longer want him, he insists he didn’t go to Brazil to meet Arsene.
“Maybe it was a mistake to bring Mario back to Italy.
“For him it is essential to go where he is loved, and at AC Milan some people love him and some do not.
“Barbara Berlusconi is right to say that no-one is irreplaceable, but so far the club have always told me that Balotelli is not for sale.
“If they do not want to keep him, they have to call me and I’m ready to meet and discuss things with them.
“I did not go to Brazil for any talks and I have never met Wenger.” [source: Sky Sports News]
There’s so much speculation about it’s difficult to know what to believe, but it appears reports of talks between Raiola and Wenger were wide of the mark.
That’s not to say we aren’t interested or a deal won’t happen this summer, but it seems any potential move is a lot further off than some newspapers had us believe last week.