Published On: Sun, Feb 3rd, 2013

Super Mario set for Manchester return?

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta says that serial joker, Mario Balotelli’s absence is already felt at the Etihad, meanwhile the maverick striker could be set for a return to England.

The Italian left for AC Milan just three days ago on deadline day, for a fee of £20 million.

Missed

Zabaleta claims that it is off the field that he is most missed, while also sending the youngster his best wishes on his return to his homeland.

He told Sky Sports, “Life is a bit different.”

“Mario is a great lad and we’re missing him the last three days.”

“The dressing room is not the same, with him there’s always something to laugh at.”

“We wish him all the best at AC Milan, we know how good Mario can be as a player- he just needs to be more focused.”

Hardline

Balotelli found himself in hot water as early as his press unveiling at the San Siro, during which he was reprimanded by Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani, perhaps preempting the Rossoneri’s tough stance with the wayward striker.

The 22-year old seemed to accept president Silvio Berlusconi’s “rotten apple” comments directed at him following his training ground bust-up with Roberto Mancini.

According to the Sun, Galliani retorted, “Sorry, you don’t know this but I do. I am older than you and I understand the meaning of the questions better than you.”

Return

With Roberto Mancini acknowledging this week the possibility of Balotelli’s return to Manchester, a source told the Daily Mirror that the Italian was more keen not to miss the party that would ensue following another title win.

“Mario said that if they clinch the title he will return to Manchester to celebrate.”

Mancini believes he may return one day, saying “Why not? He’s only 22. It could happen.”

Tirade

Before Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool at the Etihad, Reds right-back Glen Johnson unleashed an exceptional attack on Balotelli’s scandal-ridden career in England.

He told the Mirror, “I’m not being disrespectful to the guy, everyone in the country knows what he’s like.”

“Mario winds himself up, you don’t need to do too much as an opposition defender.”

“I’m not going to miss him.”

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