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Jul 23, 2013

Milan wouldn't swap Balotelli for Tevez

AC Milan coach Massimo Allegri says he would not swap Mario Balotelli for Carlos Tevez as his side prepare to face Juventus in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday night.

Mario Balotelli appears to spit towards Inter Milan fans during the Milan derby
Balotelli left City for Milan in January.

The two Scudetto favourites will get to see how they are shaping up for the new season when they meet in Reggio Emilia over 45 minutes in the annual Trofeo Tim tournament which this year also includes Serie A newcomers Sassuolo.

Both the Rossoneri and the Bianconeri are preparing to field their strongest sides, which means Tevez will come up against the club he was on the brink of signing for before Juve made a successful last-ditch bid for his services.

Balotelli will not feature since he has yet to start training again after the Confederations Cup, but Allegri has no doubt as to whom he would prefer to have in his squad for the upcoming season.

“We have no regrets at all about (not getting) Tevez,” Allegri said. “We got Balotelli in January and one of them is 23 and the other is 29. Balotelli is an absolute star at Milan and he can only get better.”

Milan also have Stephan El Shaarawy and Allegri is delighted that he turned down a move to the Premier League this summer to remain in Milan, while he is also expecting greater things from the 20-year-old.

“I think he’s realised that playing a good first half of the season is not enough in a big club,” Allegri said. “Stephan is an important player for Milan and for me. He needs to improve in certain moments of the game and remain serene.”

Despite such strength in attack, Allegri acknowledges that Juve will be the team to beat again this season.

“They are clear favourites for the title,” he said at a press conference. “Not only because they are the defending champions, but also because they have further strengthened their side.

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