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Raiola: You'll regret Mario

Mario Balotelli's agent has warned English football that they will regret allowing the striker to leave.

Last Updated: 31/01/13 at 15:17 Post Comment

Mario Balotelli: Italian forward is a 'cultural asset'

Mario Balotelli: Italian forward is a 'cultural asset'

Balotelli has joined Italian giants AC Milan from Manchester City after enduring a difficult season with the Premier League champions.

But the player's agent, Mino Raiola, insists the exit of the 22-year-old forward is Italy's gain and England's loss.

"In England they'll regret Balotelli for a long time, Raiola told Sky Sport Italia. "He is an extreme talent. England has only seen 50 per cent of what he can do.

"Balotelli is a cultural asset. We have decreased by 50 per cent the value of the Premier League and improved by 50 per cent the value of Serie A.

"All journalists in England are sad but the important thing is that we have brought a top player back to Italy.

"This negotiation was very difficult. It seemed to fail six or seven times in the last 60 days, especially because of journalists.

"Manchester City's owners were also not convinced they wanted to sell Mario. But we worked step by step.

"Mario's return is a positive sign for all Italian teams. We had to be calm and balanced - and we were. We thank Milan for believing in this deal at a very difficult time economically.

A move to Milan was thought to be off the agenda when club president Silvio Berlusconi famously referred to the player as a "rotten apple" but Raiola dismissed the issue.

"The important thing is what you do, not what you say," added Raiola.

Juventus were also linked with a move for Balotelli but, when asked about the interest from the Bianconeri, Raiola said: "I don't speak of the other club. Perhaps they have thought about him."

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