Balotelli, Puma, Arsenal, and an early Italian Exit
It's a match made in commercial heaven for three of the above.
Italy's early World Cup exit may have been seen as a disaster by many in Milan, Rome, Naples, et al, but for Arsenal this could prove absolutely ideal. With rumours and pictures of Arsenal's new kit reaching fever pitch, the official launch is reportedly due to be July 10th, and Puma, personal sponsors of Mario Balotelli are keen to have Arsenal and Arsene Wenger tie up a deal for the striker in time for him to feature in the launch.
Opinion is divided as to whether Balotelli would in fact be more trouble than he's worth at The Emirates, and certainly his temperament will always be questioned but one thing is certain: his perceived stellar status would sell shirts by the bucketload! When Mesut Ozil arrived for The Gunners shirt sales were 12 times higher than normal from the webshop. The combination of a completely new kit and (in)famous striker would surely match anything generated by Ozil, if not surpass it. Exposure of the Puma brand linking them with one of the top world clubs, and top world stars in football will do them no harm at all, and as for Balotelli himself; he gets the chance to put to bed some unfinished business in the best league in the world. Oh, and the expected astronomical wages, lest we forget such a detail.
As of yet however, there is actually no confirmed information as to if there has even been an approach for the Italian by Arsenal to his current club AC Milan with the Arsenal manager quoted as saying anything pertaining to the deal is "pure invention", but speculation continues to abound across media outlets of all types, as does the value of the transfer fee to bring Balotelli back to the Premiership. Anything from £25 million to £37 million has been suggested, complete with the possibility of Puma subsidising either wages or the signing fee, as they see the Balotelli brand as worth the investment in the long term.
The question now is, do Arsenal, Arsene, and the board of directors, feel the same way?
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