Wenger snubbed £16m striker twice this summer - and now he's signing for Liverpool

Balotelli Milan

Arsenal fans have been urging Arsene Wenger to sign a striker all summer - and have now found out that he snubbed Mario Ballotelli twice.

The Gunners have had a positive few months; winning the FA Cup final and the Community Shield has ended the club's nine-year trophy drought, whilst new signings David Ospina, Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and Alexis Sanchez have given fans a welcome boost after a couple of poor previous transfer windows.

Yet those supporters have been crying out for another striker to be added even after the signing of Sanchez. The Chilean forward played up front on his own against Everton on Saturday and touched the ball just 26 times in a poor display - once again proving that Wenger needs to sign another centre forward to complement Olivier Giroud.

Fans have been hoping that the likes of Edinson Cavani and Jackson Martinez would be brought to the Emirates Stadium, and they may be frustrated to hear the latest speculation - that Wenger has turned down the opportunity to sign AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli twice this summer.

The controversial Italian, 24, has hit 30 goals in just 54 games for Milan after signing for the Serie A club from Manchester City in January 2013, but has been linked with a move back to the Premier League for some time now, with both Arsenal and Chelsea linked.

Now though, Balotelli is signing for Liverpool in a £16m deal as a replacement for Luis Suarez, but it could have been all so different.

According to reports today, Wenger turned down the opportunity to sign Balotelli twice this summer. The first was during the world where Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola allegedly asked for £160,000-per-week for his client, which Wenger unsurprisingly spurned.

Then, Balotelli dropped his demands to £90,000-per-week - what he will be paid at Liverpool - but still Wenger wasn't interested, despite encouragement from Arsenal's kit suppliers Puma, who have Balotelli as a pin-up boy for their brand.

Maybe Wenger was put off by Balotelli's attitude, or maybe the Frenchman still doesn't believe the club need to fork out for a new striker. Either way, Wenger and Arsenal have to hope that Balotelli doesn't prove them wrong in the race for the Premier League title.

Should Wenger have signed Balotelli?

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch