Thursday January 31 2013
Balotelli transfer was tough – agent

The agent of Mario Balotelli has revealed that the player’s move to Milan collapsed on numerous occasions before a deal was finally done with Manchester City.

The Rossoneri have completed the €20m capture of the Italian international striker despite the frequent complications.

“It wasn’t easy to bring Mario back to Italy, we had to take it one step at a time,” Mino Raiola told Sky Sport Italia.

“The talks broke down seven or eight times in the last 60 days. All the speculation in the media was annoying City, especially when it came to the payment methods.

“I thank Milan who always believed and who never pulled out even during the most complicated economic times.

“Fortunately, we’ve been able to bring back a top player to Italian football. Mario is a great talent and he still hasn’t shown half of what he is capable of.

“Balotelli’s arrival increases the value of Serie A by 50 per cent and it lowers that of the Premier League by 50 per cent.”

Milan’s interest in the player was unclear at one stage after President Silvio Berlusconi described the former Inter man as a bad apple.

“It was a misunderstanding,” Raiola added. “The fact that Milan signed him is the most important thing. Words don’t matter, facts do.”

Balotelli returns to Serie A after a sometimes difficult two-and-a-half year spell in English football.

“Mario’s biggest problem in England was that he couldn’t live a normal life, there were too many paparazzi,” Raiola noted.

Balotelli was in action for his new club this afternoon and scored in a practice game against Serie D side Darfo Boario.