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Balotelli wage demands could scupper City deal

Mario Balotelli is demanding an astonishing £180,000-a-week plus image rights to sign for Manchester City from Inter Milan, according to a well placed Soccernet source.

The striker, who turns 20 in a few days time, values himself highly and is clearly keen to take advantage of City's renowned wealth and ability to pay out higher salaries than most clubs.

But the club are baulking at Balotelli's demands, according to a Soccernet source close to the deal, who said: "I have heard the figure of £180,000-a-week, and when he was asked whether that would include his image rights, his representatives said no.

"We all know City are paying well over the odds in transfer fees and salaries, but this is an enormous salary for the player.

"If the sum being demanded is accurate, then it is stupid money, and you can see why City are not paying it, because there are some really big established international stars in their team who would be raising an eyebrow and asking for more money for themselves.

"In my view this is the reason for the hold up in the talks, because Inter also want a massive fee, so the total investment is just huge."

With the Inland Revenue also looking very closely at image rights any club must be very careful about signing any player which such add-ons to their contracts - another reason why City may be wary about accepting such demands.

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