The Premier League champions are willing to accept a lower fee for the Italian striker as long as the Serie A giants are prepared to offer a larger initial sum for the 22-year-oldEXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart
Mario Balotelli's proposed move to AC Milan has edged a significant step closer after Manchester City agreed to lower their asking price to £20 million, Goal.com has learned.
Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola is currently in Milan in an attempt to resolve the controversial striker's future, with talks held on Wednesday described as "progressive" by a source close to the deal.
The Premier League champions dismissed Milan's offer of £25m spread over six years, but would be prepared to accept a lower final fee were they to receive a larger sum upfront.
Goal.com revealed on Tuesday that the Italian giants were contemplating the sale of experienced defender Philippe Mexes, who currently earns £3.8-million-a-year, in a bid to free up the finances that would fund their move for Balotelli.
Balotelli appears set on a return to Italy having struggled to establish himself as a regular member of Roberto Mancini’s side this season.
Members of the City hierarchy, including director of football Txiki Begiristain, sanctioned the sale of the Italy international having finally lost patience with the striker following his very public training ground bust-up with Mancini earlier this month.
The 22-year-old, who has contributed just a single Premier League goal to City’s title defence, has already given notice on his rented house in Cheshire and flown a number of personal belongings back to Milan ahead of a potential return to San Siro.
Goal.com also reported on Tuesday that the former Inter Milan star held what appeared to be a farewell meal with close friends at a Chinese restaurant last weekend.
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