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Man City sign Balotelli, Milner to follow

Manchester City have completed the signing of Italy striker Mario Balotelli from Inter Milan for a reported fee of £24 million.

City close to Milner deal

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Balotelli, 20, passed a medical in Manchester on Friday and signed a five-year deal to complete his switch from Serie A to the Premier League.

City manager Roberto Mancini, who worked with Balotelli at Inter before moving to Eastlands, said: "I think that Mario is one of the best players of his age in Europe.

"His style of play will suit the Premier League, and because he is still so young there is a big chance for him to improve. He is a strong and exciting player, and City fans will enjoy watching him.''

Although the deal was completed too late for Balotelli to be included Saturday's opening Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, he will be available for the home clash with Liverpool on August 23.

Mancini also said James Milner was close to signing from Aston Villa, although they are still sorting out the details of the deal. "I think it will be okay but we need another two or three days," he said. "When you do a deal, everything must go in a good way for everybody, so we probably need another two or three days for this situation."

It is reported that the Milner deal is being held up because Stephen Ireland - who is due to be part of a part-exchange deal - is demanding a £2 million pay-off. Asked whether that was the case, Mancini replied: "I don't know about that."

Aston Villa caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald said on Friday: "The latest about Milner is that talks are still ongoing. Nothing can be done today in terms of him being signed in time to play tomorrow. James has been put in the squad and will be available to play for Aston Villa against West Ham."

Mancini was non-committal about Robinho's chances of remaining at Eastlands, but there is no place in his plans for Craig Bellamy, who is attracting interest from Fulham, Tottenham, Sunderland and Celtic. "I have to choose 25," Mancini said. "The rest must find another team. Craig is out of the list."

Bellamy this week claimed he had not spoken to Mancini in several months, but the Italian said: "What he has said is not important because it is false. I speak with the players every day and Craig always played for me last year. This year I choose other players. I am the manager and it is my choice."

Mancini also rejected suggestions City are set to buy Benfica defender David Luiz and Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with Balotelli and Milner set to represent the final deals of the summer. "After these two players - finished," Mancini said.


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