'Arsenal target Balotelli is 'sad & desperate' at Milan'

The Italy striker's agent Mino Raiola has called on executive Barbara Berlusconi to open the door to a move away from San Siro if the Rossoneri no longer value his contributions
AC Milan forward and Arsenal target Mario Balotelli will leave San Siro if he continues to feel unappreciated, according to the player’s agent Mino Raiola.

Balotelli still has four years on his contract with the Rossoneri but has been linked with a move to Arsenal – though manager Arsene Wenger has publicly played down a move.

4/6 Arsenal are 4/6 with Paddy Power to be Balotelli's next permanent club
Nevertheless, Goal understands that Wenger has held talks with Balotelli's agent ahead of a move which could cost the club £35m.

The striker scored against England during the World Cup but Italy crashed out at the group stage and, though he was defended by Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani, executive Barbara Berlusconi described him as “replaceable”.

Raiola demanded clarification on Berlusconi’s remarks and suggested that, with offers in the pipeline, the player could be on his way should he no longer feel wanted at the club.

“Mario is sad, desperate,” he said to Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I appreciate Galliani's comments but now I want to respond to Barbara Berlusconi.

"If for her Mario is replaceable, she should set up a meeting in the club's headquarters and we will find a solution, just as I usually do.

"Mario had other important offers. He is at Milan because of his heart, I don’t know if it’s because of Berlusconi.”

Raiola, whose list of clients includes former Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, also hit out at criticism of Balotelli for Italy’s disappointing campaign in Brazil.

“Did anyone really think that Italy would win the World Cup?” he fumed.

“It is shameful to blame Balotelli alone. I am not surprised by Italy's failure. In Europe our clubs no longer win so how could the national team perform a miracle?"

The agent also had strong words for former Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, who resigned from his position immediately following the Azzurri’s elimination.

“I do not know Prandelli, but his idea was a losing tactic. How could you only play with one striker on the pitch? Even Costa Rica had three.”