Mazzarri fancies Balotelli test

Napoli head coach Walter Mazzarri described the challenge of working with Mario Balotelli as "stimulating".

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

Walter Mazzarri: Eyeing Mario Balotelli

Walter Mazzarri: Eyeing Mario Balotelli

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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.

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."

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.


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


More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

I

believe this is because for sepp Christmas is a 7 day feast finishing on the 25th

hiya
Blatter calls for early final

F

alcao really needs to shine now. Apparently according to the stats, he scores more when played up front alone. I wonder if Van Gaal will actually apply a formation to get the best out of him though.

anthracyte
Van Persie lay-off expected

Footer 365

Liverpool's Europa League exit a boost to top-four chances ahead of Manchester City showdown, says Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher looks ahead to Liverpool v Manchester City and reckons the Reds might find it easier to bounce back.

Arsenal announce £11m profit and £138.8m cash reserve

Arsenal have returned robust financial results, with turnover increased to £148.5m and an overall profit before tax of £11.1m.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal eyes 'luck'

Louis van Gaal claims the most important factor in Manchester United's pursuit of a top-four place is 'luck'.

Mail Box

Are Tottenham Right To Redevelop?

It's a really good Friday afternoon Mailbox, with thoughts on Spurs' ground development, the Europa league (leave it alone) and one man running for a very good cause...

Rodgers Is More Of A Paisley Than A Rafa

Most Liverpool fans in the Mailbox are claiming to be pleased to see the back of the Europa League. Plus merging the Europa and Champions League, and winter WC...

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