Transfer news

Balotelli wants Ibrahimovic back at Milan

July 5, 2013
By Ben Gladwell, Italy Correspondent

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has called on his club to invest this summer to make them more competitive in Europe next season, and has named Paris Saint-Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the player he would most like to see in a Rossoneri shirt.

Balotelli
GettyImagesMario Balotelli and Zlatan Ibrahimvoic were team-mates at Inter Milan.

Balotelli is looking forward to starting his first full campaign as a Milan player after joining from Manchester City at the midway stage of last season, but he still believes there is margin for improvement.

His 12 goals in 13 games last term helped the club hold off the challenge of Fiorentina to secure Serie A’s third berth in the Champions League, albeit in the play-off round, but for Milan to take the next step, the Italy international feels they need another big name up front.

“We are strong,” Balotelli told SportMediaset. “But to be competitive in Europe, we need to be strengthened. Maybe if I say who I want, we’ll buy him - Ibrahimovic.”

The Rossoneri have not progressed beyond the quarter-finals of the Champions League since lifting the trophy in 2007, making it only as far as the last 16 in four of the last six seasons.

Having missed out on the Scudetto for two years in a row, Milan are desperate for more success next year and Balotelli expects it to be tough, especially since back-to-back champions Juventus have strengthened by signing Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente.

The striker is nevertheless convinced that the San Siro side can make an even sterner challenge to the Bianconeri after finishing 15 points adrift of Antonio Conte’s men last term.

“I’m not afraid of Juve,” he said. “I respect everybody, but fear nobody. Tevez is a friend and I had told him to come to Milan, but he didn’t listen to me and went to Juve instead. If I get the chance, I’ll make fun of him on the field.”