English Premiership

Balotelli to leave City for Milan

2013-01-29 18:44
Mario Balotelli (AFP)

Rome - Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini confirmed on Tuesday that Mario Balotelli is set to return to Italy to join AC Milan, who had announced his transfer earlier in the day.

Milan said the controversial striker would arrive in Italy on Wednesday and undergo a medical examination before signing a four-and-a-half-year contract.

Reports in the Italian media said Milan would pay €20 million to acquire the services of a player who previously played for their city rivals, Inter Milan.

Speaking after City's 0-0 draw at Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League on Tuesday, Mancini told Sky Sports: "Both clubs are talking about him. I think that maybe tomorrow they can close it. Mario will go in for a medical."

Balotelli has had a chequered time at City, making the headlines as much for his exploits off the pitch as for what he has achieved on it, but Mancini said he would be missed.

"We are very sorry (to lose him)," said the Italian.

"We love Mario like a guy, we love Mario like a player, but I think he had this big chance to back to Italy and play for a big club like Milan.

"I hope Mario can continue to improve and can show he is ready because I think if he works hard, he can continue his growing and he can become one of the best players in Europe."

Earlier, the in-house Milan Channel announced: "Mario Balotelli to Milan, the player will come tomorrow (Wednesday) for his medical and sign his contract."

Milan director Umberto Gandini confirmed the deal, saying on Twitter: "Transfer agreement for Balotelli signed with Manchester City. Medical is tomorrow in Milan, then personal terms until 2017 will be signed."

City paid Inter Milan €22 million for the Italy striker in August 2010, but his time at the club has been peppered with controversy.

Balotelli, 22, will reportedly earn an annual net salary of €4.5 million during a spell with Milan that is scheduled to run until 2017.

The striker, who scored three times for Italy on their run to the final of Euro 2012, returns to his home country in a bid to relaunch a career that has gradually lost momentum this season.

He has scored just once in 14 Premier League appearances, as well as once in the League Cup and once in the Champions League.

Balotelli's departure would leave City with only three senior strikers in Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko, but Mancini says there is not enough time to sign a replacement before the transfer window closes on Thursday.

"I don't think so because we have two days and it's difficult to buy a good player," he said. "In this moment, I don't think we can."

Despite his contributions to the 2011 FA Cup success and last season's dramatic league title triumph, Balotelli's two-and-a-half-year spell at City looks destined to be remembered for a spate of controversial incidents.

At the beginning of this month, he was pictured apparently having a bust-up with Mancini during a training session, while in December he tried to take his club to court to contest their decision to fine him for his poor disciplinary record last season, before eventually dropping his appeal.

Balotelli was also caught up in numerous off-field incidents, including having to escape from his own house in October 2011 after starting a fire caused by letting off fireworks in his bathroom.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
10 December 2016
Watford v Everton, Vicarage Road Stadium 14:30
Arsenal v Stoke City, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Hull City v Crystal Palace, Kingston Communications Stadium 17:00
Swansea City v Sunderland, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Burnley v AFC Bournemouth, Turf Moor 17:00
Leicester City v Manchester City, King Power Stadium 19:30
11 December 2016
Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion, Stamford Bridge 14:00
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Old Trafford 16:15
Southampton v Middlesbrough, St. Mary's Stadium 16:15
Liverpool v West Ham United, Anfield 18:30
13 December 2016
Everton v Arsenal, Goodison Park 21:45
AFC Bournemouth v Leicester City, Vitality Stadium 21:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.