Man City love Mario! Mancini wishes Balotelli luck ahead of Milan move

Manchester City's Roberto Mancini says the Citizens "love" Mario Balotelli despite agreeing to sell the striker to AC Milan

mario balotelli
Mario Balotelli netted 13 goals for City last season Photo: Kelvin Gillmor

mario balotelli

Roberto Mancini has insisted Manchester City still “love” Mario Balotelli despite accepting AC Milan’s offer for the Italian striker.

Milan have agreed a reported €22m (£19m) fee to bring Balotelli back to the San Siro, with the 22-year-old expected to have a medical and pen a four-and-a-half year deal with the Rossoneri on Wednesday.

Balotelli has not started for the Citizens since their 3-2 loss to Premier League leaders Manchester United in early December, with speculation mounting about a possible return to Italy.

Mancini’s men were held to a goalless draw at QPR at Loftus Road on Tuesday night, and the City manager wished his compatriot all the best in Serie A.

“Both clubs are talking about Mario Balotelli. Maybe tomorrow they can close. I think Mario needs to do a medical. We are very sorry,” Mancini told BBC Sport.

“We love Mario, Mario likes the players but I think he had this big chance to come back to Italy and to play for another top club like Milan.

“I hope Mario can improve and can show he is ready because I think if he works hard he can continue his growing and can become one of the best players in Europe.”

Meanwhile, Mancini doubts the Citizens will bring in a replacement for the Milan-bound Balotelli before the transfer deadline on Thursday.

“I don’t think so because we have two days and it’s difficult to buy a good player. In this moment I don’t think we can,” he added.

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