Betting: Will Balotelli be the next high-profile addition to Arsenal's ranks?

With Alexis Sanchez having swapped Spain for England and the Emirates, Arsene Wenger is tipped to keep on spending and could yet move for the AC Milan star

Having already signed Alexis Sanchez to great fanfare and with Sami Khedira a target, Arsenal appear finally to be foregoing promising young talent in favour of established stars.
This shift in transfer policy has created great excitement among Gunners fans, who will soon be feeling even more optimistic should rumours surrounding Mario Balotelli’s imminent arrival prove correct.

Despite scoring 18 goals, the mercurial striker endured a disappointing season with AC Milan, who now appear ready to sell their prized asset in order to raise funds for a much-needed rebuild.

With Balotelli recently pictured posing alongside an Arsenal club crest while on holiday, Paddy Power have now cut the odds to 4/9 (1.44) on him becoming Arsene Wenger’s next marquee signing.

While the Rossoneri deny rumours of an agreement with the London club, there is unlikely to be a shortage of other takers for the talented 23-year-old should such a move not go through.

In need of a new high-profile signing in order to make up for the imminent departure of Real Madrid-bound James Rodriguez, Monaco are on offer at 4/1 (5.00) to flex their considerable financial muscle for the Italy international.

Similarly, Liverpool have money to spend in order to replace Luis Suarez, and are available at 6/1 (7.00) to bring the former Manchester City man back to the Premier League.

Having recruited heavily from Serie A recently, Paris Saint-Germain are priced at 10/1 (11.00) to team Balotelli up with fellow former Milan players Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Meanwhile, ex-Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli is on offer at 10/1 (11.00) to bring Balotelli with him to Istanbul and new club Galatasaray, while those same odds are also available on an reunion occurring in London with former Inter boss Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.

Although Manchester United look set to spend big under new boss Louis Van Gaal, odds of 14/1 (15.00) represent a long shot on them persuading a former Etihad hero to change colours, while Real Madrid 14/1 (15.00) also appear unlikely suitors as they focus their attention elsewhere in the market.

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

Manchester United to launch new €54m Vidal bid

The Red Devils are confident of making progress in their pursuit of the Juventus star this week, with Louis van Gaal having given the green light to a move for the Chilean

By Paul Clennam

Manchester United are ready to launch a new €54 million bid for Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal this week.

The Old Trafford club are increasingly confident of landing the Chilean World Cup star and are looking to make progress in their move for the 27-year-old in the coming days.

Louis van Gaal, who officially took charge at United on Wednesday, is a big fan of Vidal, having tried to sign him while in charge of Bayern Munich in 2011, and has approved a move for the midfielder.

The Dutchman encouraged the pursuit of Vidal earlier in July, despite the club being told that a move could cost them €56m plus Nani.

United have monitored the situation regarding Vidal closely during a turbulent summer at Juventus, which has seen Antonio Conte leave the Serie A champions amid talk of unhappiness regarding the club’s transfer policy.

Juventus have signed forward Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid and are set to complete a move for Roberto Pereyra, while suggestions that Vidal could be sold grow louder in Italy.

Vidal, who is currently resting in Chile following the World Cup, has recently conceded that his future in Turin looks uncertain.

“I don’t feel like my time at Juventus is over, although I can’t say more right now,” he told a Chilean radio station. “When I’m back from Chile, I’ll talk to my executives and we’ll see what will happen.”

Juve director Pavel Nedved, meanwhile, says that the club are reluctant to sell both Vidal and Paul Pogba but admits that a big-money bid could force them to part ways with the Chilean.

“Our strategy is clear; we want to keep all our best players, including Vidal and Pogba,” he told Tuttosport. “We don’t want to sell anyone, especially Vidal.

“Certainly, if there were a high bid for them, we’d have to think about it but we don’t want to sell our champions.

“We want to be competitive in the Champions League and the only sales to be players who are not part of our plans.”

Publicly, United have aimed to manage expectations regarding signings but Vidal has emerged as their No.1 target and chief executive Ed Wooward has confirmed that the club are still in the market for players this summer.

“We’ve been working with Louis over several weeks with regards to targets and we’re continuing to move forward on some of those targets,” Woodward told MUTV.

He added: “We are willing to invest. There is no fixed budget. Financially we are extremely strong and funds are available. Louis is assessing what’s going on and there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes, so watch this space.”

Stoke midfielder Palacios fails medical for Qatar move

The Honduras international, who only made 16 Premier League appearances last season, has seen his proposed switch to the World Cup 2022 host nation fall apart

Wilson Palacios’s proposed move to Qatar Sports Club has fallen through after the Stoke City midfielder failed a medical.

The Qatar club revealed on Friday that the Honduras international had arrived in Doha to finalise the deal to take him to the Middle East but, without declaring the issue behind his failure to pass a physical, have now confirmed the agreement’s collapse.

The Qatar Stars League club wrote on Twitter: “Qatar Sports Club overlooked to sign with Honduras national team player Wilson Palacios because he didn’t pass the medical examination.”

Palacios joined Stoke from Tottenham in August 2011 but has been hampered by injuries and appears to be surplus to requirements under Mark Hughes.

The 29-year-old made only 16 Premier League appearances for the club last season, though he did feature for Honduras in the group stage of the World Cup.

Wolfsburg: Rodriguez will not join Manchester United

The Swiss defender has been a key performer for the Bundesliga side since joining them in 2012 and they have no intention of selling him any time soon

Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs has made it clear that Switzerland international Ricardo Rodriguez is not for sale at any price amid rumours that Manchester United have made an enquiry for the left-back.

With Patrice Evra expected to leave for Juventus, United are believed to be in the market for another defender battle Luke Shaw for a place in the starting line-up and Rodriguez is rumoured to be on their radar.

Reports from Germany suggested that the Premier League side have already contacted the full-back’s agent Roger Wittmann to ask about his availability, but Allofs has ruled out a potential transfer.

“That will have been a brief conversation,” the Wolfsburg director told Kicker when asked about the meeting between Wittman and United.

“Ricardo is not going anywhere.”

Rodriguez joined Wolfsburg from FC Zurich in January 2012 and has since developed into a key player at the Bundesliga outfit.

The 22-year-old, who was one of Switzerland’s top performers in their run to the last 16 of the World Cup in Brazil, has a contract with Wolfsburg until the summer of 2016.

Arsenal don't need another forward, says Wenger

The Gunners have already splashed out on Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona this summer and the Frenchman is happy to focus on reinforcing elsewhere within the squad

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says that fans should not expect him to sign another centre forward this summer.

Having already secured the signature of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona – though he may field the Chilean on the right flank while Theo Walcott remains injured – the Gunners boss believes that he is well stocked in the final third.

Olivier Giroud remains at the club while Yaya Sanogo is in reserve and Costa Rica international Joel Campbell could be integrated into the first team after time out on loan.

“Up front we don’t need any more,” Wenger told the press. “It’s not especially for numbers.

“We need a goalkeeper for sure and, after that, it depends on how our midfielders get through without injuries until the start of the season. Maybe at centre-back we’ll still bring one in.”

Wenger is understood to be close to a deal to sign keeper David Ospina from Nice, while he has also made a preliminary approach for Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and right-back Javi Manquillo is expected to join on loan.

With Manchester United set to up their bid for captain Thomas Vermaelen, an extra defender would also be on his shopping list if a deal is agreed for the Belgian.

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