It's officially official: AC Milan has announced the signing of striker Mario Balotelli from Manchester City on a four-and-a-half-year deal. Reports suggest the rossaneri paid €23 million for the forward, and he'll earn €4m per year, plus bonuses.
Balotelli signed with City from Inter Milan in 2010, and has made 53 appearances with the club, scoring 20 goals. He's scored but one in the Premier League this season, however, and has made most of his appearances from the bench. But with Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez on hand for Roberto Mancini, and Eden Dzeko having been promoted from super-sub to starter, there's just very little room for SuperMario to shine. Add to that the tensions between him and Mancini, and his firey personality, and it seemed inevitable that Balotelli was on his way out.
Milan is a slightly surprising destination. Yes, the club have made no secret of the fact that they wanted to bring Balotelli back to Italy, but they've also made it clear that there's little money available. But they found the transfer fee, and the forward has taken a pay cut in favor of a starting role.
The start of the season was a rough one for the rossoneri. But a strong run of form in recent weeks, combined with lackluster performances from clubs at the top of the table, means Milan is now in fifth. With Balotelli up front with Stephan El Shaarawy, their Champions League dreams just might not be that far-fetched.