AC Milan fans should cherish Mario Balotelli for as long as they can, according to the player’s agent, who claims his client is unhappy with the bad press he is receiving.
During Balotelli’s time at Manchester City the striker was often the centre of attention -- and with that focus continuing at Milan, Raiola says the point has been reached where he may decide enough is enough and leave Italy.
“There is an exaggerated amount of attention on him,” Raiola told Mediaset prior to Milan’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona, in which Balotelli came on as a second-half substitute. “It’s not on. I don’t know if I’d be able to stand it all personally. We all need to calm down and we’ll analyse things with Milan.
“Certainly Italy will not be the final stage of his career, but we still have lots of years on his contract here and we don’t want to think that he has to leave for this reason.”
Less than a year after arriving, though, it is hard to see Balotelli leaving Milan already, and the club’s general manager Adriano Galliani has laughed off the suggestion.
“Raiola’s a sly guy,” he said. “He likes to be provocative. I’ve known Mino for many years so I’m not worried.”
Galliani was not worried about finding out that Raiola had been in the Barcelona dressing room after the game either.
“Then we can do a swap,” Galliani joked. “They’ve got two forwards [Lionel Messi and Neymar] who aren’t bad. They can chose -- we’d take either the Brazilian or the Argentine.”