Transfer news: Mario Balotelli wanted AC Milan exit, says CEO Adriano Galliani
By Simone Bargellini
Last Updated: 19/09/14 5:16pm
AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani has confirmed that Mario Balotelli wanted to leave the club and join Liverpool this summer.
Balotelli, who moved to Milan from Manchester City in January 2013, completed a £16million switch to Anfield last month after much speculation had surrounded his future.
The 24-year-old was heavily linked with an exit this summer following Milan’s failure to secure European football and a number of Premier League clubs were reported to be keen.
Balotelli netted his first Liverpool goal in the midweek 2-1 UEFA Champions League win over Ludogorets and Galliani has wished him well for the future, believing he can continue to develop as a player.
"We have a good relationship but at a certain point I understood he wanted to leave," Galliani told Corriere della Sera.
"I consider him to potentially be a really big player and I hope he continues to grow.
"I was very happy for his goal with Liverpool in the Champions League."
Milan made a number of high-profile additions to their squad this summer including Jeremy Menez and Alex from PSG, while Diego Lopez and Fernando Torres arrived from Real Madrid and Chelsea, respectively.
Galliani insists it is proof that Milan can still attract top players despite the absence of European football and says a lot of hard work and thought went into their summer dealings.
"Purchases must not be evaluated for their cost, but the performances. It is much more difficult to take players as a free agent," he said.
"The AC Milan appeal helps, but it also takes knowledge of the world of agents and relations with the club.
"For example, Menez and Alex were at the end of their contracts, but Diego Lopez and Fernando Torres were tied to Real Madrid and Chelsea.
"We have taken them at no cost only because of good personal relationships."
Galliani also admitted that Milan did consider former Juventus boss Antonio Conte prior to appointing Filippo Inzaghi at the San Siro.
"There was a little courtship. Conte is a great coach but I think Inzaghi resembles him a lot," he said.
"We took the players adapted to Inzaghi’s ideas, we are completely in tune with him."