Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 4/26/15
Puma wants to facilitate Mario Balotelli’s sensational return to the Premier League this summer, and Arsenal stands to benefit from the sportswear company’s largesse. Should Arsenal decide to make a transfer bid for Balotelli ahead of next season, Puma is willing to help subsidize the Gunners’ approach, Metro reports. “According to reports in Italy, the company wants to help Arsenal finance a deal to bring the former Manchester City striker to the Emirates Stadium,” the report says. “Puma, who also sponsor Balotelli, want two of their key brands together, and could even stump up as much as £15 million [$24.5 million] of any deal to make the transfer happen.” Balotelli has starred for AC Milan since returning to Serie A from Manchester City in January 2013. The Italian striker has scored an impressive 25 goals in 38 games for the Rossoneri, but the team is languishing this season. AC Milan sits 10th in Serie A (Italy’s first division) after 22 games, and a genuine possibility exists that the Italian giants will fail to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Balotelli’s good form doesn’t mean that all is well between AC Milan and him. Last month, rumors about a rift between Balotelli and AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi arose. Those reports claimed that Balotelli’s behavior irritated Berlusconi and the former Italy Prime Minister authorized AC Milan directors to sell Balotelli for as little as €25 million (£20.7 million/$34 million). AC Milan and Balotelli immediately refuted the rumors, and Balotelli said that he wouldn’t switch clubs before the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Last month’s Balotelli rumors suggested that Chelsea would be his most likely destination, but Arsenal is now included on the list of potential suitors. The Gunners recently signed a five-year deal with Puma worth £30 million pounds ($50 million) annually, which makes the sportswear company the club’s official uniform manufacturer. Like other companies, Puma would love to see it’s highest-profile players join forces with their highest-profile clubs. Cristiano Ronaldo’s rumored return to Manchester United is a similar case to Balotelli’s, as it would take a heavy dose of sponsor involvement to bring the deal to fruition. The Metro reports says Balotelli’s current price is £40 million ($65.2 million). Puma’s £15 million ($24.5 million) contribution would mean that Arsenal would only need to spend £25 million ($40.8 million) of its current transfer kitty to land Balotelli. Arsenal is reportedly looking to a add a special kind of firepower to its ranks, and the world-class Balotelli fits the bill. Even Arsenal’s notoriously thrifty manager, Arsene Wenger, couldn’t balk at that price … could he? Click here to read about Balotelli’s rumored unhappiness at AC Milan>> Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here.Filed under: Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Marcus Kwesi O'Mard, Premier League, Rumors, Soccer, Top Stories
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jon Jones wanted for questioning in hit and run

Pitcher throws perfect game with 23 strikeouts, still loses

Will LaMarcus Aldridge leave the Portland Trailblazers?

Wizards sweep listless Raptors

Clippers defeat Spurs, even series at 2-2


JR Smith 'nervous as hell' about possible suspension

Dana White: No more WWE for Ronda Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk for 'bush league' play

Report: Eli Manning not concerned about contract

Several teams interested in Bucs' No. 1 overall pick?

Report: Marcus Smart overslept, could get less playing time

Paul Pierce burns Raptors fans with epic troll job

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

WATCH: Former NBA’er Darko Milicic is enjoying life

WATCH: Alex Gordon leaps into stands for incredible catch

WATCH: JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder in face

WATCH: Kevin Love leaves Game 4 with shoulder injury

Joe Flacco content with current Ravens receivers

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Will Aldridge leave the Blazers?

Alex Gordon leaps into stands for catch

Dana White: No more WWE for Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk

JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder

Report: Wainwright likely done for year

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.