Despite the claim by AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi earlier this month that Mario Balotelli is a “rotten apple”, talks between Manchester City and the Italian side over the transfer of the player are progressing.
Reports today suggest that Milan are keen to do a deal, with vice-president Adriano Galliani confirming the Rossoneri’s interest in the 22-year-old striker, but it appears City’s asking price is somewhat of a stumbling block at this stage. More talks are scheduled for the early part of next week.
City are apparently demanding £31m for the enigmatic forward who illuminated the European Championships this summer with Italy. It’s clear, however, that with Balotelli’s off-field antics causing City a series of problems in the past, Milan have some bargaining power to reduce the price.
At the end of Friday, Manchester City still said €37m. We will see on Monday. Under these conditions, he will remain at Manchester City.
Milan have struggled for form this season, and the summer sale of a number of players who were admired by the fans has caused disruptions. Milan will therefore be keen to secure a player of Balotelli’s standing. Indeed, Milan are also attempting to re-sign Kaká, the Brazilian midfielder who was adored by the crowd inside the San Siro before leaving for Milan in 2009.
On Kaká, Galliani said:
Everyone must make a great effort: Milan, Real Madrid and Kaká. Much depends on [the player’s] economic sacrifice. I have up days and down days. At the moment it is down because I look at the taxation – that kills. In Italy, no player earns more than €5m net.