Premier League

Agent: Balotelli a priceless artwork

Manchester City substitute Mario Balotelli
Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli started on the bench at Borussia Dortmund.
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Mario Balotelli's agent does not believe any Italian club could afford to buy the Manchester City striker, or pay his wages, comparing him to a priceless work of art.

Speculation has swirled around the former Inter Milan player, who has started just one of City's last eight matches in all competitions through a combination of injury and non-selection.

AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi fuelled further rumors last night by confirming his interest in the 22-year-old ahead of a Champions League defeat to Zenit St Petersburg.

When asked to comment on rumors of a mooted bid for Balotelli in January, he told Sky Sport Italia: "No, it's not a dream. I never dream."

But the City forward's agent, Mino Raiola, was quick to defuse talk of a big-money move, saying Milan could not afford his client.

"No Italian club would be able to afford him," he told Sky Sport Italia. Balotelli is as valuable as the Mona Lisa. And City have been very clear - they don't want to sell."

Milan head coach Massimiliano Allegri is a confirmed admirer and hinted he would like to see Balotelli play alongside Rossoneri youngster Stephan El Shaarawy, who has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season.

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Allegri said: "I think they have done great things with the Italian national team.

"(Balotelli) is a great player with extraordinary physical and technical qualities. However, given his qualities, I believe he has thrown away a few years of his career."

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