English Premiership

'Balotelli like Mona Lisa'

2012-12-05 21:14
Mario Balotelli (AFP)

Milan - Mario Balotelli's agent has upped the ante for potential suitors, including AC Milan, by claiming the unsettled Manchester City striker is like the Mona Lisa, virtually unaffordable.

"In Italy, no club could afford Balotelli," said Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola.

The claims would appear to scupper AC Milan's hopes of launching an audacious bid to bring the Italian back to Milan, where he played for city rivals Inter before moving to England.

Reports in Italy last week said the seven-times European champions could look to sell Brazilian pair Robinho and Alexandre Pato to boost the coffers for a swoop on Balotelli, who is a known supporter of the Rossoneri.

It was reported Sunday the club's owner Silvio Berlusconi, a known admirer of 'Super Mario', wants to re-create his partnership with fellow Italy striker Stephan El Shaarawy at Milan.

Despite club officials in recent days calming reports that Robinho could be sold, Berlusconi was quoted by Italy's sports media on Wednesday as saying the capture of Balotelli "is not a dream".

Raiola, however, added that today Balotelli's market value is "like the Mona Lisa. He doesn't have a fixed price tag, and it depends on who the buyer is.

"Since no one is buying, he is priceless."

Balotelli is enduring a turbulent season at City and was recently warned by manager Roberto Mancini to change his poor attitude to his profession or face the consequences.

Mancini, who gave Balotelli his debut at Inter Milan, has remained loyal to the player despite a series of headline-grabbing incidents in the two-and-a-half years since he joined the club.

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