Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani has described Mario Balotelli’s January move as “a bargain”.
After falling out of favour at Manchester City, Balotelli moved back to Serie A in a deal reported to be worth at least €20 million, despite Milan struggling financially.
However, Galliani believes the striker’s excellent goal return since his San Siro return, albeit with Milan’s other club, makes him well worth the transfer fee, with Balotelli’s 12 goals in 13 games going a long way to securing third place in Serie A, and UEFA Champions League football with it.
“He is a top star, even if he was often a reserve at Inter and Manchester City. When he arrived at Milan I told him to continue being a star, but a starting one.
“I consider him to be a bargain, as he scored 12 goals in 13 games and we are paying for him in monthly instalments.”
The 68-year-old, who has been with Milan since 1986, also hailed the club’s consistency, which he does not believe is replicated in any other Serie A club.
“Milan never go below third place, as over the last five years we have always been on the Serie A podium,” he said.
“When our season went really badly, we finished third. For other clubs, such as Inter and Juve, when they had a bad season they didn’t even finish on the podium.
“Juventus are still in pole position for the Scudetto, because they won it last year. However, Milan are right up there, so at least we’ll be in the top three.”
Milan, who ended last season six points off second place, will now need to re-organise ahead of their next campaign and there is a lot of speculation around transfer activity at San Siro.
Galliani confirmed that Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy will remain, however, with the club holding crunch talks with the latter last week.
“Stephan received an important offer with super wages for him, but the lad asked to stay and we were happy to keep him,” he revealed.
Someone who will almost definitely not be seen in Serie A next season, however, is Robinho with the Brazilian eager to move back home and complete a transfer to Santos.
And Galliani hinted that Fiorentina’s Adem Ljajic could be brought in to replace the Brazilian.
“He could become our objective, but at the moment he is a player under contract with Fiorentina,” he concluded.