AC MILAN are today expected to bring down the curtain on one of the most controversial careers in Premier League history by completing the £20m signing of Italy forward Mario Balotelli from Manchester City.
Balotelli is due to undergo a medical and sign a four-and-a-half-year contract with the bitter rivals of Inter Milan, the club at which he first emerged as one of European football’s brightest stars.
Milan were so confident of concluding the deal last night that they had already begun selling Balotelli shirts on the website of their club shop.
Umberto Gandini, director of the Italian side, wrote on Twitter yesterday: “Transfer agreement for Balotelli signed with Manchester City. Medicals tomorrow in Milan, then personal terms until 2017 signing.”
City stand to recoup most of the £24m they spent on Balotelli in August 2010, the day after his 20th birthday, despite his turbulent spell in England.
The 22-year-old scored 26 goals in 71 appearances, helping City win the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League 12 months later. But his performances were overshadowed by controversy, the latest and perhaps decisive episode being last month’s training-ground scuffle with manager Roberto Mancini.