Balotelli not exempt from sale, says Berlusconi's son

Piersilvio Berlusconi has praised the Arsenal target and says he hopes the 23-year-old does not leave the club this summer despite continued speculation surrounding his future
Piersilvio Berlusconi has labelled AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli a "great champion" and hopes he remains at San Siro amid speculation over his future in Italy.

The striker has been linked with a move away from the Rossoneri, with Arsene Wenger holding talks with Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola but Berlusconi says he hopes the striker stays with the club.

"Mario has a hard head and I say this with all the respect I have for him," he told reporters. "At the same time, however, he is also a great champion. I'm glad he's at Milan."

The businessman was also questioned about his sister Barbara's comments that the star was not irreplaceable.

"I think that means something else," he added. "That no-one is exempt from being sold.

"I think Balotelli has so much more to say and that if he gains a little he can become a champion. For me he is really very strong, but do not ask me whether it is a certainty that he will play at Milan next year.

"I speak as a fan and I would always have him in our team. These decisions, however, are taken by someone else."