Last week, AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi claimed that Mario Balotelli was set to join a Premier League club for €35 million (£28m).
However, the 23-year-old Italy international’s under-par performance at the 2014 World Cup finals saw his value plummet, and the yet-to-be named club backed out (click here to read more)
The unnamed English outfit are widely reported to be Arsenal, who are searching for a top-quality striker in the summer transfer market.
Balotelli’s value now will be much less than €35m, which means that the former Manchester City striker is likely to remain a Milan player for the 2014-15 campaign.
The former Inter Milan striker divides opinions among football fans. Although his talent and potential cannot be doubted, Balotelli’s off-pitch antics and failure to maintain consistency have stunted his development as a footballer.
Having burst onto the scene as a teenager at Inter, Balotelli played his role in City’s FA Cup and Premier League triumphs in 2011 and 2012 respectively, and was key to Milan finishing third in Serie A in 2012-13. But the striker has often fails to deliver when it matters most - like at the World Cup.
Balotelli’s failure to inspire Italy in Brazil has seen him criticised in his homeland, with his agent Mino Raiola recently claiming that it was a mistake to bring him back to Serie A (click here to read more)
As Berlusconi said, no club is going to pay €35m for Balotelli, who will now have to prove himself all over again to the Rossoneri fans.
But what if he were to move to Turkish giants Galatasaray? How would he be treated?
‘While I do not know of specific interest, he is a strong player’, Goal.com quotes the club’s sporting director Tomas Ujfalusi as saying. ‘Here he would be king’.
It seems as if Balotelli made the wrong choice when he left City back in January 2013.