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World Cup cost Mario his move

ESPN staff
July 4, 2014
Mario Balotelli has been made a scapegoat for Italy's dismal World Cup © Getty Images

AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has reportedly claimed a £28 million transfer involving Mario Balotelli and a Premier League club has stalled because of Italy's poor showing at the World Cup.

Italy were knocked out after the group stage having failed to beat Costa Rica and Uruguay and La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Berlusconi spoke of the situation during a meeting of his Forza Italia political party leaders in Milan.

"It wasn't Italy who lost the World Cup, it was me," he is quoted as saying by the Adnkronos agency, according to the Italian newspaper.

"I was selling Balotelli to an English team for several millions, but, after this World Cup, who will buy him now? I was going to sell it to a top English club for 35 million [euros], then the deal has stalled."

Balotelli has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal this summer, with Arsene Wenger intent on improving his strike force, although the manager has since cast doubt on a move for the Italian.

Milan vice-president Barbara Berlusconi, daughter of Silvio, recently claimed Balotelli is not irreplaceable while the 23-year-old's agent Mino Raiola has not ruled out a move this summer either, saying he is open to negotiations if the Serie A club wish to sell his client.

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