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Balotelli won't move before World Cup

Italy striker Mario Balotelli has vowed not to leave AC Milan before the 2014 World Cup.

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Balotelli, 23, returned to Italy a year ago after a spell with Manchester City and had initially excelled with the team he supported as a boy.

However, he has struggled to replicate that early form during a difficult second season with Milan, and there had been rumours he would leave the San Siro this winter.

Those rumours have been vehemently denied by his agent -- who rubbished claims he had told a newspaper Balotelli was seeking a move -- and the club, who issued an official statement to deny a report that club president Silvio Berlusconi had decided to transfer list the player.

Balotelli has now told Italian magazine Chi that he has no intention of walking away before the end of the season.

"I'm staying with Milan," he said. "I've got to arrive at the World Cup ready and above all relaxed."

He also said he has no intention of leaving girlfriend Fanny Neguescha, who he says keeps him on the straight and narrow.

"She makes me feel good," he added. "Even if she's tough and demanding, when I'm with here, I feel serene and I can switch off."

Milan's general manager Adriano Galliani, meanwhile, has underlined the club’s stance that there is no prospect of Balotelli departing before the summer.

"It is 101 percent certain that he will be staying in January," he told Mediaset.

Zenit St. Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti -- who has suggested to the Italian media he would like the Milan job -- has said he would relish the chance to work with Balotelli.

He said: "I would love to coach him -- there would be plenty of things I'd have to say to him. Balotelli has quality, he's strong but, now and again, he needs the right advice and I'm sure there is going to be another strange incident involving him."

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