Manchester City's Mario Balotelli has signed with AC Milan.
Mario Balotelli, whose wacky antics have filled the
British newspapers almost daily in the last two and a half
years, is set to return to Italy with AC Milan after a deal was
agreed with Manchester City.
The Italy striker, a boyhood Milan fan, first broke through
at rivals Inter Milan and is returning home for a fee media
reports have put at 20 million euros after a largely
frustrating spell with the English champions.
"Transfer agreement for Balotelli signed with Manchester
City. Medicals tomorrow in Milan, then personal terms until
2017," Milan director Umberto Gandini said on Twitter.
The club's TV channel said the same.
City manager Roberto Mancini, who gave the player his debut
at Inter, had said Balotelli would not be leaving in the
January transfer window but the striker's desire to go back
to Italy appears to have won the day.
Tales of the 22-year-old blowing up his bathroom with
fireworks or walking into a school asking for the toilet have
amused British fans but City supporters have felt
shortchanged after he netted just 20 league goals since his
22 million euro move from Inter.
Going back to Italy will be no walk in the park though for
Balotelli, with Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi recently saying
his fifth-placed Serie A side did not need a "rotten apple"
like the combustible forward.
Berlusconi later apologised.
Controversy also followed Balotelli while at Inter where team
mates once assaulted him for wearing Milan colours. He also
got into trouble for turning up at a northern Italian prison
and asking to look around.
Even the wily Jose Mourinho, Inter's 2010 Champions
League-winning coach, labelled him "unmanageable".
Italian leaders and champions Juventus - whose fans racially
abused Balotelli when he was last in Serie A - were also
interested in signing him after he shone for the national
side at Euro 2012, sources close to the talks told Reuters.