Mario Balotelli To Join AC Milan For £17m (PICTURES)

Arrivederci Mario

Mario Balotelli looks set to end his two-and-a-half-years with Manchester City and sign for AC Milan in a €20million (£17m) deal.

The 22-year-old will ink a four-and-a-half-year contract and the transfer could be worth up to €23m with add-ons, as City take a £4m hit on the 22-year-old striker they paid Internazionale £24m for in August 2010.

As contracts are yet to be signed, a degree of caution is understandable but providing there are no unforeseen hitches, Balotelli will join Milan ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline.

Milan were long regarded as the club Balotelli was likely to join when he returned to Italy and he should become the 33rd player to play for both Internazionale and AC.

Balotelli's departure signals an end to a turbulent but fruitful period in English football, when he was part of the City squad that ended their 35-year trophy drought and went on to win the club's first league title in 44 years.

However his spell in Manchester was pockmarked by numerous instances of indiscipline on and off the pitch, and the irascible Italian's altercation with coach Roberto Mancini effectively signalled the end of his time at Eastlands.

Balotelli in the stands of the San Siro for the Milan derby earlier this season

The Rossoneri president said: "The name of Balotelli never came into my thoughts, he is a rotten apple and could infect every group where he goes, even Milan.

"I'm sorry to say this, but in Milan is very important to the human aspect. If you put a rotten apple in the locker room can infect all the others."

Mancini, who has a penchant for saying the opposite of what will happen, said earlier this month Balotelli would not be sold.


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