English Premiership

Balotelli arrives in Milan

2013-01-30 19:33
Mario Balotelli (AFP)

Milan - Italy striker Mario Balotelli landed in Milan to finalise his move from Manchester City to AC Milan on Wednesday.

Milan announced on Tuesday that they reached an agreement with City and that Balotelli would sign a four-and-a-half year deal following a medical exam.

Balotelli arrived on a private plane along with club vice president Adriano Galliani.

"It's been a long time that I've wanted to play for Milan, but obviously I was playing for other clubs so I couldn't come here," Balotelli said, wearing a Milan scarf around his neck. "Now I had the opportunity and I ran."

Balotelli has spent a turbulent two-and-a-half years in English football since joining City from Milan's city rival, Inter, in 2010 and his form has dipped this season as matters off the pitch continue to overshadow his talent on it.

"I didn't start this season very well with City but now I hope to do well," Balotelli added. "I knew, inside of me, that sooner or later I would get here. I made important decisions to come here and I hope that they are good for both me and Milan."

Balotelli will reportedly be taking a pay cut to move to the club he has supported since childhood.

Milan will pay City €20m plus bonuses for the 22-year-old.

"I certainly don't need to present Mario Balotelli to you," Galliani said. "It is a dream come true and one that we all wanted, starting from President Silvio Berlusconi on the front line.

"With Mario's arrival we strengthen our squad a great deal. We worked hard on this and Mario has been in our hearts for some time, so we finally managed to get him."

Balotelli went straight to a hospital in Busto Arsizio, where he was greeted by a frenzied crowd of more than a hundred fans, eager to catch a glimpse of their new idol.

The car struggled through the crowds and eventually was forced to stop in front of a different entrance.

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