Unless you have spent the last few weeks living life on Mars, you will be undoubtedly aware that Internazionale FC forward Mario Balotelli is expected to join Manchester City. The Eastlands club continue to acquire some of the world’s most talented players, with David Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov already confirmed.
Jose Mourinho has left last season’s treble winners, replaced by ex-Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez and many people view that single move as a clear sign of decline from Serie A’s most dominant side.
Brian Clough & Don Revie, oh, wait…
That attacking full-back Douglas Maicon also seems certain to follow his coach to Madrid only reinforces this view. However it is the sale of the talented Italian youngster which has caused most concern.
Inter are widely ridiculed for having so many foreigners in their squad, with Balotelli, David Santon and Marco Materazzi being the only Italians at the club.
With Santon constantly struggling with injuries, Materazzi clearly at the end of his career, Balotelli was the one shining light in a largely South American side.
The player has clearly had problems – he was photographed in a Milan shirt as part of a practical joke not so long ago, and was involved in an incident with a toy gun which resulted in his arrest.
“See you again soon…”
However, with Mourinho hardly being the best coach at developing young players Balotelli clearly grew frustrated, and these frankly minor incidents were nothing Inter haven’t dealt with before. Compare the intolerance on display here compared with the leniency shown to Adriano before those ties were finally cut.
Balotelli is, based on impact and talent, perhaps one of the top ten prospects in world football. For Manchester City to be able to secure his signature for less than €30 million is madness from Inter President Massimo Moratti.
City coach Roberto Mancini will be more aware than anyone of the players volotile temprement – having given him his debut at Inter in December 2007. Indeed the relationship between the two is believed to be the basis of the move.
The greater tolerance and multi-cultural blend of England and English football will obviously help a player who has become a hate-figure in Italy, as will the less tactical nature of the EPL. Less responsibility on the field should see his immense natural talent flourish.
A great situation for Manchester City, Mancini and Super-Mario, but Inter seem intent on moving backwards. An interesting time for Serie A fans as the anticipation for the new season grows ever greater.