AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has ruled out the possibility of the Italian giants making a move for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli this summer.
Balotelli has failed to feature in either of City’s opening Premier League matches and looks likely to face stiff competition for a first-team place from Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez, who now seems almost certain to remain at the Etihad Stadium, at least until January.
The mercurial 21-year-old’s current situation, combined with his much-publicised affection for the Rossoneri, had led some to speculate that a summer switch could be on the cards, but Berlusconi has now moved to quash such talk.
"There is no possibility of [Mario] Balotelli coming here," he told Sky Sport Italia.
Berlusconi also ruled out the possibility of striker Antonio Cassano, who has been linked with a return to Serie A rivals Roma, leaving Milan before the close of the transfer window.
"We have [Antonio] Cassano here and he has many qualities and is very talented. He is 100 percent staying with us here,” he added.
Milan’s domestic hopes appear to have been boosted by the news that arch-rivals Inter have agreed to sell Samuel Eto’o to newly-rich Russian side Anzhi Makachkala for a fee in the region of £30 million, in an attempt to ease their own financial troubles.
Berlusconi seized the opportunity to take a swipe at the Nerazzurri, claiming no amount of money could persuade him to part with his own star striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
"If the Russians were to offer 30 million euros for Ibrahimovic, I would refuse. I would not change Ibra with anybody," he stated.
However, the Milan owner refused to rule out the possibility of the club attempting to bring back Kaka from Real Madrid at some point in the future.
"When [Kaka] left, we said it would be nice if he returned at the end of his career," he said.
By Liam Twomeycomments