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

Latest Articles

Transfer news: Bolton sign former Crewe striker Max Clayton on three-year contract

Post comment

Bolton have completed the capture of former Crewe striker Max Clayton on a three-year contract.

Felix Magath is sacked by Fulham

Post comment

Felix Magath has been sacked by Fulham, with Kit Symons taking over as caretaker manager.

All Articles

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


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Europa League: Everton boss Roberto Martinez delighted with 4-1 win over Wolfsburg

Roberto Martinez was delighted with Everton's display as they brushed aside Wolfsburg to win 4-1 in the Europa League.

Europa League: Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino hits out at Partizan banner

UEFA investigating anti-Semitic banner displayed by Partizan Belgrade fans during goalless draw with Tottenham.

Europa League: Everton open Group H campaign with 4-1 win over Wolfsburg

Everton opened their Europa League Group H campaign with a convincing 4-1 win over Wolfsburg at Goodison Park.

Mail Box

Why Doesn't Rodgers Play Borini?

One Liverpool supporter thinks this could be Fabio Borini's year, whilst we also have thoughts on the Red Bulls, Welbeck vs Gervinho and Paul Lambert's new deal...

Could Arsenal Benefit From Top Four Exit?

That's one idea in the morning mailbox as the Arsene Wenger debate rumbles on. Plus, comparing Welbeck to Gervinho and some advice for Greg Dyke and the FA...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property