Football - Mario as valuable as Mona Lisa - Agent

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.

Eurosport

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 rumours on Tuesday night by confirming his interest in the 22-year-old ahead.

When asked to comment on rumours of a mooted bid for Balotelli in January, Berlusconi told Sky Sport Italia: "No, it's not a dream. I never dream." But the City forward's agent, Mino Raiola, told Sky Sport Italia: "No Italian club would be able to afford him. 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.

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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