AC Milan and Juve in Balotelli hunt

Man City have reportedly held talks with Serie A giants AC Milan and Juventus over the possible sale of Mario Balotelli.

Last Updated: 28/01/13 at 23:05 Post Comment

Mario Balotelli: Continues to be linked with a return to Italy

Mario Balotelli: Continues to be linked with a return to Italy

Manchester City have held talks with Serie A giants AC Milan and Juventus over the possible sale of Mario Balotelli, Press Association Sport understands.

The controversial striker has been continually linked with Milan throughout the current transfer window while Juve's interest has only just emerged.

Yet while news of the talks may increase the possibility of a sale before Thursday's transfer deadline, City are still likely to hold out for a price they believe represents good value.

As manager Roberto Mancini has maintained throughout the month, City are not actively pushing to sell. The contact is understood to have been initiated from the Italian end.

City have not yet accepted an offer for Balotelli. Speculation in Italy has suggested Milan are prepared to pay £20million plus add-ons.

Previous reports have claimed City rate Balotelli's worth at around £28million. He cost £24million when he signed from Inter Milan in August 2010.

Contrary to some reports, Balotelli has travelled with the City squad to London for Tuesday's Barclays Premier League game at QPR.

The forward is available for the game having overcome the virus which kept him out of Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round win at Stoke.

Balotelli's future has been a matter of uncertainty since a below-par display in the derby defeat by Manchester United on December 9.

He has not started a game for the club since, first after being dropped and then because of a spell out through illness.

There have been two substitute appearances in January but he has long been fourth-choice striker behind Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko.

Balotelli's campaign as a whole has been an underwhelming one with just three goals, only one of which was in the Premier League.

There have been fewer of the off-field controversies which blighted his first two seasons at City this term, but that was forgotten after a high-profile training-ground bust-up with Mancini earlier this month.

Yet even as many observers were claiming that incident had to be the final straw for Mancini, the fiercely loyal manager himself said he was prepared to give him "another 100 chances".

Mancini has also stated repeatedly that Balotelli will not be leaving that club and pointed out that, with three years left on his contract, his former Inter protege remains a big part of his plans.

But it did not quell persistent rumours from Italy suggesting that Milan would make a move, nor did conflicting statements from senior figures at the San Siro.

Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has been quoted describing Balotelli as a "rotten apple" and that the club cannot pay "Monopoly money" for him in recent weeks. Chief executive Adriano Galliani has also made regular statements about the player.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

F

irst Townsend, now Chiles. What next ITV? Comedy that you can actually watch without vomiting up your own spleen? I'll be sad to see Matt Smith go though. I actually quite like him. Plus, he was good in Doctor Who.

sailingmagpie
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

H

e's like Jay from Inbetweeners. Could've had him, had him, didn't want him, turned him down.

lee
Wenger criticises work permits

A

wful, awful pundit. He was crap on BBC, and offered a little more analysis than Robbie Savage - apart from the delivery of banality in a sexy accent. Also, as I'm Irish he'll never be more then a slimy, hand-balling f**ker in my eyes.

batdog
Football People On TV: Thierry Henry

Footer 365

Sepp Blatter shrugs-off UEFA's challenge to his leadership as 'lacking courage'

Sepp Blatter tells UEFA “they do not have the courage” to sufficiently challenge his leadership at this year's election.

Transfer news: Sam Allardyce unsure whether Darren Fletcher will join West Ham

Manager Sam Allardyce admits he is unsure whether Darren Fletcher will choose to join West Ham or another club.

Transfer news: Wigan close to signings of Chris Herd from Aston Villa and Jason Pearce from Leeds

Wigan are close to signing Aston Villa's Chris Herd on loan and Leeds' Jason Pearce permanently, Sky sources understand.

Mail Box

Appalling, Slow, Pathetic, Embarrassing

It's a bonus Saturday Mailbox, with plenty of reaction to the most alarming 0-0 draw in Manchester United's recent history. At what point do we worry about Louis van Gaal?

Why Do Man United Look So Impotent?

It's all very well talking about formations and United's defensive problems, but shouldn't their expensive attacking options be doing better? And we talk psychology...

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