Manchester City's Mario Balotelli expresses desire to play for Palermo - report

A report in Italy claims the former Inter starlet is eager to move back to Serie A, but not to AC Milan, the team allegedly most keen on his services
Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has told close friends he would like to play for hometown club Palermo.

The 21-year-old Italy international has long been linked with a return to Serie A as AC Milan are said to be keeping an eye on him, but Balotelli seemingly has his sights set on a move to Sicily.

"You know where I'd like to play? At Palermo. I'd love to go there. It's a beautiful place and it's always sunny," Balotelli said, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The striker left Inter to join manager Roberto Mancini at Manchester City last year, but his adventure in the Premier League has been marred by controversial incidents both on and off the pitch.

However, it seems unlikely that Balotelli will get his desired transfer to Palermo as club president Maurizio Zamparini has made it clear that the Sicilians can't afford his salary.

"How can we afford Balotelli if we let go of Pastore partially because of wage issues? Mario is a player with the quality to play for AC Milan, Inter or Juventus. They struggle to match his Manchester City wages though, so go figure what that means for Palermo."

Balotelli has a contract with Manchester City until the summer of 2015 and the Champions League hopefuls are reluctant to let go of the Italy international.