Mazzarri fancies Mario test

Napoli head coach Walter Mazzarri described the challenge of working with Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli as "stimulating", amid reports of a possible approach from the Serie A club.

Last Updated: 09/01/13 at 15:12 Post Comment

Mario Balotelli: Being chased by Napoli

Mario Balotelli: Being chased by Napoli

Azzurri president Aurelio De Laurentiis has admitted he would be interested in bringing the unsettled 22-year-old to the San Paolo as a strike partner for Edinson Cavani, or as a possible makeweight should City make a bid for the free-scoring Uruguayan.

AC Milan appeared to distance themselves from a rival approach for the Italy international when president Silvio Berlusconi described Balotelli as a "rotten apple", but Mazzarri is confident he could tame the capricious striker.

Quoted in La Repubblica, he told Radio Monte Carlo: "I do not know him personally. I spoke to him once a few years ago at a hotel in Sorrento.

"He made a good impression on me but only those who know him well can say what kind of problems he might create in training.

"I've got a bit of experience, though, and it would be stimulating to work with a talent like his, but I don't know if that would ever happen."

Azzurri president De Laurentiis had told Gazzetta.it: "Are City considering letting Balotelli go so they can move for Cavani?

"I would prefer to see Balotelli playing with Cavani here at Napoli.

"Teams tend to hold on to their best players in January. You take a big risk making big investments now.

"There is still time for us to bring in new faces but we must be cautious. On January 31 you will see what moves Napoli have made."

Saddened

Milan had previously been mooted as Balotelli's likely destination, with the Rossoneri appearing to free up the necessary funds and space in their squad with the 15million euro sale of Alexandre Pato to Corinthians, but Berlusconi told reporters at the FIFA Ballon d'Or gala in Zurich that any approach was unlikely.

"The name of Balotelli never came into my thoughts, he is a rotten apple and could infect every group where he goes, even Milan," the former Italian prime minister said.

Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola responded through Sport Mediaset, saying: "Mario and I are saddened by what Berlusconi said.

"Berlusconi doesn't know him, everyone who does know him loves him. (Milan vice-president) Adriano Galliani knows him and loves him.

"If someone asks me to introduce Mario to Berlusconi then I will do so with pleasure."

Balotelli has been linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium following a number of high profile incidents since he arrive in England from Inter Milan.

The latest occurred last Thursday, when he was pictured grappling with City boss Roberto Mancini.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

ne of the conclusions from this list is that Man City should never buy a striker in January - good luck Wilfried Bony....

Savinator
F365's Top Ten Worst January Panic Buys

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

Footer 365

Three Bears consortium criticise Rangers board over Mike Ashley loan

The Three Bears consortium have criticised Rangers' decision to shun their offer in favour of Sports Direct's £10m loan.

Transfer news: Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko happy at the club

Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko is happy to stay at the club, despite rumours he is a target for Arsenal.

Transfer news: Samuel Eto'o leaves Everton for Sampdoria on free transfer

Samuel Eto'o has completed his free transfer from Everton to Sampdoria on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Mail Box

The Problem With FA Cup Shocks...

...is that the draw for the next round is pretty shocking. Blackburn v Stoke, anybody? We also have mails on LVG and ManUnited, who drew plenty under Fergie...

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company