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I'm not leaving AC Milan in January - Balotelli

ESPN staff
January 8, 2014
ESPN FC: Balotelli to Chelsea?

Italy striker Mario Balotelli has vowed not to leave AC Milan before the 2014 World Cup.

The 23-year-old returned to Italy a year ago after a spell with Manchester City and had initially excelled with the team he supported as a boy.

However, he has struggled to replicate that early form during a difficult second season with Milan, and there had been rumours he would leave the San Siro this winter - with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho reportedly keen on being reunited with the player he managed at AC's Milan rivals Inter.

Those rumours have been vehemently denied by his agent - who rubbished claims he had told a newspaper Balotelli was seeking a move - and the club, who issued an official statement to deny a report that club president Silvio Berlusconi had decided to transfer list the player.

Balotelli has now told Italian magazine Chi that he has no intention of walking away before the end of the season.

"I'm staying with Milan," he said. "I've got to arrive at the World Cup ready and above all relaxed."

He also said he has no intention of leaving girlfriend Fanny Neguescha, who he says keeps him on the straight and narrow.

"She makes me feel good," he added. "Even if she's tough and demanding, when I'm with here, I feel serene and I can switch off."

Milan's general manager Adriano Galliani, meanwhile, has underlined the club's stance that there is no prospect of Balotelli departing before the summer.

"It is 101 per cent certain that he will be staying in January," he told Mediaset.

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