Emirates outfit set for somewhat unlikely swap offer.
Inter Milan have entered the race to sign Cesc Fabregas and hope to tempt Arsenal by offering Italy Under 21 star Mario Balotelli in a player-plus-cash deal worth £36million.
However, the Italians look set to be disappointed, with both the Gunners and their skipper reluctant to court a deal.
Reports on Italy’s Sky Sports network suggested a deal may already have agreed in principle, but Fabregas’s representatives told Spanish paper El Mundo Deportivo that there had been no contact, let alone and agreement between the two parties.
The 22-year-old is also wanted by Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists he has no intention of selling his lynchpin.
Mourinho is keen to add another creative midfielder to his squad and has also encouraged a bid for Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard.
Arsenal may seek a separate deal for Balotelli, who appears to be on his way out of San Siro after clashes with boss Jose Mourinho led to him being completely left out of the squad to face Chelsea in the Champions League earlier this month.
Balotelli has since been filmed wearing an AC Milan shirt – the team he openly supports – and said of the victory over Chelsea: ‘It was the team that won at Stamford Bridge, not Mourinho.’
The 19-year-old will be left out for the fourth straight game when Inter play Livorno on Wednesday night.
Inter president Massimo Moratti is a huge fan of Balotelli and hopes the striker can patch up his differences with Mourinho, but the striker is the one who will be sacrificed if the relationship cannot be salvaged.
Manchester City have also been linked with Balotelli, while Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is a confirmed admirer.
It appears that Inter Milan have set their sights on the Emirates skipper and recent reports emanating from Italy of such a move have been given backed up by speculation that any such move would be attempted by offering Arsenal up and coming talent Mario Balotelli as part of any proposed deal.
It seems highly unlikely that Arsene Wenger would entertain the idea of such a deal but may well attempt to push forward with a move for the teenage forward anyway. The Italian Under 21 international has had more than a few run ins of late with Jose Mourinho as well as with Samuel Eto’o and a lack of first team starts may drive the youngster to leave the San Siro.
The Gunners could do with more attacking options as the recent injury crisis has shown that the north London side could do with snapping up a new goal threat and the potential shown by Super Mario has made him a target of a great many of Europe’s leading sides.
Cesc Fabregas is however highly unlikely to move to Serie A and has repeatedly stated his desire to stay at the Emirates but do not expect that to bring an end to interest from both Inter as well as Barcelona.