Balotelli exit saddens Mancini

Roberto Mancini says Manchester City are not happy to have lost Mario Balotelli and the decision to sell was difficult.

Last Updated: 01/02/13 at 12:40 Post Comment

More of the games that matter

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

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini claims the club are not happy to have lost Mario Balotelli and the decision to sell was a difficult one.

Balotelli's extraordinary, controversy-filled spell at the Etihad Stadium came to an end this week as he completed a reported £19million transfer to boyhood club AC Milan.

The move came at the end of a month of intense speculation over the fiery striker's future, which City had consistently downplayed, but ultimately it was felt the deal was in everyone's interests.

Mancini, who expressed his sadness at the 22-year-old's impending departure earlier in the week, said: "We are not happy because I think he did well. Maybe not in the last three or four months because he had a big problem with injuries, but he did well because he helped the team win the Premier League and the FA Cup.

"We are sad for this but this is football. It was difficult, it was only my decision.

"I am here, (for) the club and Mario. Also for Mario to go back to Italy to play for Milan was important. I believe in him and I believe to go back to Italy after two years in England is important."

Mancini was often Balotelli's fiercest critic at City but usually backed his former Inter Milan protege in the end.

The 48-year-old was determined to coax the best out of the often wayward Balotelli and even after a high-profile training bust-up last month, said he was prepared to give him "another 100 chances".

But despite Mancini's denials, rumours linking the player with Milan refused to subside and City acted once the Serie A giants' interest became concrete.

Mancini, meeting media to preview this weekend's game with Liverpool, said: "Until one week ago it was impossible, because we never received any offers. Instead in the last three days Milan started to talk with the club and did an offer.

"We thought it was good for everyone, probably, for Mario to have the chance to go back to Italy and play in a top club like Milan.

"We hope it will be important for him and for the club that can get back some money."

Balotelli's exit removes the considerable circus that often follows his every move from Mancini's concern.

But his faith in the player's talent has never wavered and he still expects the Italy international to become a star of the world game.

He said: "Yes, he has everything, always. He has quality. It is important he can understand this."

City are now with just three senior frontline strikers in Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko. Other options include reserve team youngsters Marcos Lopes and John Guidetti.

Yet given Balotelli's recent form - he had been a peripheral figure this season, scoring only three goals - Mancini does not feel that is an issue.

He said: "Now we have three strikers. We have only Premier League and FA Cup, I think that could be enough."

Mancini added that City did not look to bring in a replacement forward before the January transfer deadline.

He said: "No, it was difficult to take another good player."


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

G

ood lord that's got me unnecessarily excited. Damn you Storey. Cut to Liverpool being crushed under the wheels of Sparky's Stoke Machine and Firmino brought off the bench to no effect. It's the hope that kills you.

suarez_blind
Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

N

o Schweini? Have to admit that I did a little sex wee when we signed him and I can't wait to see him in action!!!

spence
F365's Top Ten Players We Can't Wait To Watch

I

think he'll do quite well. My only reservation would be Kagawa, who had similar stats to Firmino in the bundesliga before he came, but time will tell.

GVMUFC
Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

Footer 365

Manchester City agree £14m fee with Roma for Edin Dzeko

Sky sources understand Manchester City have agreed a £14m fee with Roma for striker Edin Dzeko.

Angel Di Maria is 'very happy' to join PSG from Manchester United

Angel Di Maria's move to PSG from Manchester United looks set to go through after he expressed happiness at the deal.

Liverpool's Jordon Ibe says he needs more end product

Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe says he must be looking contribute a goal or assist in every game he plays.

Mail Box

Louis Van Gaal Only Wants Football Robots

Louis van Gaal only wants players who are human robots, apparently. It's a great Mailbox, with thoughts on Chelsea, Audi Cup, Fabregas, Lingard and Joe Gomez...

Is Jack Wilshere The New Diaby?

This was supposed to be his season but he is already injured. We have mails on Chelsea, TV football, why Raheem Sterling is worth more than ADM and more...

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