Does Mario Balotelli Worth £180,000 A Week?!

Manchester City's frustrating pursuit of Mario Balotelli has stalled because of outlandish wage demands, it has been claimed. The ambitious Barclays Premier League club thought they were closing in on deal with Inter Milan worth an initial £24million last week, with a five-year deal on the table believed to be worth £65,000 a week.

However, the delay has been put down the 19-year-old's representatives asking for a deal that would make Balotelli among the very best-paid players at Eastlands. The Italy Under 21 international wants £180,000 a week, plus extra for image rights, according to ESPN. City are aware that their endless wealth leaves them open to huge demands and they have paid a premium for wages in the past, but they are not prepared to be ripped off.

The club walked away from a deal for Edin Dzeko when Wolfsburg asked £50m, but would consider approaching the unsettled Bosnia striker again if a move for Balotelli collapses. They have also monitored Barcelona's Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Bordeaux's Yoann Gourcuff and Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetic as alternatives. However, their intention is still to make Balotelli and Aston Villa midfielder James Milner their final two signings of the summer.

Roberto Baggio, who has joined the Italy national team staff as technical director, has bemoaned Balotelli's likely move to City. "I'm sorry for this departure. It is a sin if Super Mario has to go abroad, but it is clear that there are situations that we do not know about. To find the talents, Italy will have to believe in young players and help them to thrive," said the former Juventus star.

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