Andrea Pirlo wants Juventus to sign Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli
Andrea Pirlo wants Serie A champions Juventus to spend big and sign Italy and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli
Andrea Pirlo has urged Serie A champions Juventus to sign Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli this summer.
The 21-year-old has scored 27 goals in 60 appearances for City since moving to the Eastlands outfit in a €22m (£17.5m) deal from Internazionale in 2010.
The City forward scored in Italy’s 2-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland at Euro 2012 with an eye-catching overhead kick before he netted a spectacular brace in the Azzurri’s 2-1 win in the semi-final against Germany.
Pirlo, 33, was impressed by Balotelli’s performances in Poland and Ukraine, and the midfielder believes he can extract the very best from his compatriot if Juventus were able to prise the striker from the Eastlands outfit.
“Would I take Balotelli to Juventus? Of course I would take him,” Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia.
“I know how to talk to him,” he added. “We both come from Brescia and when we are in the national team we speak in dialect.
“There was no problem with managing him in our dressing room, indeed he was very well behaved.
“I’d gladly take him in Turin. Mario is a guy who needs you to stay close to him.”
Earlier this week, Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola insisted his client is now worth €250m (£250m) after his European championship exploits, but maintained the forward would not be returning to Serie A.
“I have always said that Mario Balotelli is one player that could become the strongest in the world,” Raiola said.
“How much is he worth? In the actual market I don’t think there is a value for him but if I had to give a price I would say he is worth €250m (£200m).
“I say this to give a figure but you would have to ask the City owner [Sheikh Mansour] how much he is worth.
“I’m 200 per cent certain that Mario will not return to Italy at least while I’m his agent.”