According to reports out of Italy, Manchester City has finalized the acquisition of Internazionale starlet Mario Balotelli. The 19-year-old striker will move to Eastlands for €30 million after agreeing to a 5-year, €20 million contract.
With performances clauses in the deal, the fee going to Inter Milan could climb to €35 million.
Balotelli just completed a controversial third season at the San Siro that saw the attacker clash with coach, teammates, opponents, and fans. An Italian of Ghanaian descent, Balotelli was the subject of racial abuse at various points in the last season. Balotelli was also left out of Inter's team during stretches of the season due to his conflicts with coach José Mourinho. After a perceived uninspired performance in a Champions League match, Balotelli and veteran defender Marco Materazzi were reported to have had an altercation, while the striker's Italian season concluded with a controversial incident in the Coppa Italia that saw Roma's Francesco Totti ejected after inflicting an intentional foul on him.
Despite these hurdles, Balotelli scored nine league goals for the eventual scudetto winners. Over three years for the Nerazzurri, Balotelli has 28 all-competitions goals in 86 appearances.
Though his performance seemingly failed to suffer despite his conflicts, the striker's problems led to speculation that Balotelli would move from Inter this summer, having been linked with Manchester City and former coach Roberto Mancini throughout the offseason. Now the striker is set to join Manchester City on their tour of North America, with Inter simultaneously touring in the United States.
If the deal goes through, Balotelli will become Manchester City's fifth significant signing of the summer, joining Jerome Boateng, David Silva, Yaya Touré and Aleksandar Kolarov. He joins a striker core that already features Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tévez, and Roque Santa Cruz.