Transfer news

Mario Balotelli states Milan wish

January 18, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Mario Balotelli has pledged to stay at Manchester City for at least 18 months, but the Italian forward has once again suggested that he views his long-term future at AC Milan.

Mario Balotelli has demonstrated he is a heady mix of talent and controversy
GettyImagesMario Balotelli has demonstrated he is a heady mix of talent and controversy

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Balotelli, 20, only signed for City last summer in a £24 million move from Inter Milan but has been repeatedly linked with a move to city rivals Milan, the club he supported as a boy.

While the striker says he is content with life at Eastlands at present, Balotelli believes he will eventually join international colleague Antonio Cassano and former Inter star Zlatan Ibrahimovic at San Siro. Cassano signed for the Rossoneri in January.

"Do I envy Cassano for going to AC Milan? A little," Balotelli told Extra Time. "[Milan owner] Silvio Berlusconi said that Cassano is the best Italian talent - he's wrong or doesn't know Balotelli.

"Me with Ibra and Cassano at Milan? It'll happen soon. For this year, and another, I will stay at City where I'm fine."

Balotelli has been restricted to only seven league starts at Eastlands due to injury, though he expects to recover from a knee injury sooner than anticipated and says he will be back in action "in a few weeks".

When he does return to the pitch, he will compete with new £27 million signing Edin Dzeko for a place in the City side and the young forward now believes he is a part of world football's most potent attack, and one that surpasses their rivals at Old Trafford.

"He [Wayne Rooney] is a very good player but not the best in Manchester," Balotelli said. "Our attack of Balotelli-Tevez-Dzeko is the best in the world - better even than Barcelona and Real Madrid. We are the strongest and we can win things now - we just lack conviction."

The City striker also delivered his verdict on his former coach at Inter, Jose Mourinho, and said current boss Roberto Mancini would soon be regarded a better manager.

"Mourinho is the best coach in the world but as a man he has a lot to learn about politeness and respect," he said. "[Mancini is] the most important coach I've had. Soon he'll be the best in the world. As a man he's 10km ahead of Mourinho."