The Telegraph relayed rumours that have been circulating about controversial Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli possibly heading to AC Milan in this transfer window. Figures touted are in the area of £22 million. Milan dismissed an initial valuation of £30 million, and said they will not pay that high of a fee.
City manager Roberto Mancini has also stated he will not sell (via talkSPORT), although could this be only delaying the inevitable?
The enigmatic striker has failed to completely settle in Manchester following his £22.5 million move from Inter Milan in 2010, frequently returning home at any opportunity, something that will increase in frequency considering the recent birth of his daughter.
Moreover, despite coming through the youth ranks at fierce rivals Inter, the striker has always expressed a keen desire to wear the legendary shirt of the Rossoneri. AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has always made public his admiration of Balotelli, and with his star—not necessarily his form—quite possibly the highest it's ever been, now would be a great time for him to return home.
With rumours from Goal.com of Kaka also possibly heading back to Milan, it makes for a mouth-watering partnership for a team on the decline. Providing both forwards return to the form that resulted in their huge transfers to Manchester City and Real Madrid respectively, the Milan faithful's thirst for a replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic could finally be quenched.
Despite Balotelli's turbulent form for City (he's only scored once in the Premier League this season), he is still regarded in Italian football as one of the brightest prospects to come out of Europe. Having already won everything possible at club level in his career, he's also nabbed the Golden Boy award for best young player in Europe in 2010.
Balotelli still divides opinion. His former boss Jose Mourinho once described him as "unmanageable." That's something I'm sure Mancini can relate to. His performances in Euro 2012 whilst on duty for Italy displayed everything that is so good, yet so equally bad about the temperamental forward. He performed abysmally in the group stages, but went on to grab all the headlines with his almost magical performance against Germany in the semifinal, scoring two goals.
Would this move be mutually beneficial to both parties; Balotelli could resurrect his career, and Milan could make a statement of intent by signing one of Europe's hottest prospects. Finally, could it return them both to former glory?
Only time will tell.