Sport

Premier League worth ‘50% less’ after Mario exit: Balotelli’s agent claims cost of losing Manchester City bad boy

By Paddy von Behr

Mario Balotelli’s Manchester City exit has halved the value of the Premier League, according to the striker’s eccentric agent Mino Raiola.

The 22-year-old completed his move from Manchester to AC Milan today, in a deal worth an estimated £20million, with the potential for add ons to increase the eventual price.

And Raiola, who represents Balotelli, told Sky Sport Italia the English press will regret seeing him leave for years to come.

“Balotelli is a cultural asset,” he said. “We have decreased by 50% the value of the Premier League and improved by 50% the value of Serie A.

“He is an extreme talent. England has only seen 50% of what he can do.

“In England they’ll regret Balotelli for a long time.

“All journalists in England are sad but the important thing is that we have brought a top player back to Italy.”

City boss Roberto Mancini had insisted Balotelli would see out his contract at the Etihad Stadium and would be offered ‘100 more chances’ to do so.

But it seems the attention-seeking striker was intent on a move back home and the Premier League champions reduced their valuation of him to allow it.

“This negotiation was very difficult,” added Raiola. “It seemed to fail six or seven times in the last 60 days, especially because of journalists.

“Manchester City’s owners were also not convinced they wanted to sell Mario. But we worked step by step.

“We had to be calm and balanced – and we were. We thank Milan for believing in this deal at a very difficult time economically.”

Image courtesy of Yahoo UK video, with thanks.

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