Italian giants AC Milan and Inter Milan are reportedly planning to make £20 million bids for controversial striker Mario Balotelli, according to a Mirror Football report. Balotelli has had something of a string of disciplinary charges in his short two year tenure at Manchester City.
The forward, who has just escaped being punished by the FA for his rash tackle on Arsenal midfielder Alex Song, may not be around at the Etihad for much longer. Senior City officials and players are concerned about the negative effect the player is having on the squad. In addition, several City players are reportedly upset because of manager Roberto Mancini's lenient behaviour towards Balotelli.
Mancini, who is himself not sure of his future at the club, reportedly met Balotelli's lawyer Vittorio Rigo at a restaurant to discuss the troubled Italian star's future. Senior officials are also blaming Balotelli's headline-making activities for City's recent slump in the race for the Premiership title against rivals Manchester United, whom they now trail by eight points.
Balotelli, who moved from Inter for a fee of £24 million, is now likely to be sold back to Italy especially when both his former club and AC Milan have shown an interest in the controversial star.
Meanwhile, Mancini, even after being defeated by Arsenal, feels that the race for the Premier League title is still not over.
It's [the title] not over. In football it's never finished. For this reason, I believe always. But we did a fantastic season and we need to finish well. It's not easy, but we need to think positively. I'm proud of all my players for what we did until today. We now need to continue to win to get the maximum points we can. Then we will see," The Guardian quoted Mancini as saying.
"I will never say we can't win the league if there is still a chance. That is not my life, never. Also last year, if you remember, six games to the end Chelsea were six or seven points [behind]. But they went to Manchester three games to the end three points behind. We are professional, we need to finish well and we need to win the games we have left," he added.