Chelsea join Arsenal in Balotelli transfer hunt

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Chelsea are set to compete with Arsenal for the signature of £18m-rated Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli according to reports.

The 19-year-old has been hugely impressive since breaking onto the scene under Jose Mourinho and has attracted the interest of the two English clubs.

Arsenal have made no secret of their desire to bring in a new striker in January following the injury to Robin van Persie. There are thought to be a number of possible targets with Balotelli chief among them.

Yet Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has now also signalled his interest. "I would sign a player like Balotelli," Ancelotti was quoted as saying. "I like him and he would always be in the first team under me."

Chelsea are set to lose Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou to the Africa Cup of Nations in the new year and are eager to bring in some cover.

It is understood that Inter are reluctant to sell Balotelli in January despite Mourinho being critical of some of his displays.