Mancini bemoans Balotelli departure
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says it was his decision to sell Mario Balotelli to AC Milan, believing it could be the best outcome for all concerned.
Mancini, who had always insisted Balotelli would not be sold during the transfer window, saw the Italy international complete his signing to Milan for a fee of £19 million on Wednesday.
Despite feeling that it was the correct decision to let him depart, the City boss admits he was sad to see Balotelli leave.
"It was difficult," Mancini said. "It was only my decision. Until one week ago it was impossible [to sell him] because we didn't receive any offers. Instead in the last three days Milan started to talk with the club and made the offer.
"We thought it was good for everyone. For Mario, it could be a big chance to go back to Italy and play for a top club like Milan and we hope it will be important for him. For the club, we can get back some money."
Mancini denied he was pleased to see Balotelli go and praised the 22-year-old for his contribution during his time with City.
"We are not happy," he said. "Mario did well, maybe not in the last three or four months because he had big problems with injury, but he did well because he helped the team win the Premier League and the FA Cup. We are sad [to see him go] but this is football."
Mancini backed Milan's new signing to realise his potential at the San Siro, saying: "He has everything, always. He has quality. It is important he can understand this."
Balotelli's departure leaves City with only three senior strikers for the remainder of the season, but Mancini says he is not worried about only having Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez at his disposal.
"Now we have three strikers but we have only the Premier League and the FA Cup, I think that could be enough," he said.
John Guidetti could become the fourth forward in Mancini's squad but the youngster, who has not played first-team football since March because of a debilitating virus, is not in contention yet.
"In this moment, he is not ready to play. Maybe in the next weeks, it could be possible," Mancini said.
The City manager also revealed that he did not try and replace Balotelli on deadline day as the right quality was not available.
"Also it is difficult to get another good player," he added.