AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani says it is “99.9%” that Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli will not join the club in the January transfer window.
The Italy international has long been linked with a return to Serie A despite president Silvio Berlusconi insisting the club will not sign the striker.
City manager Roberto Mancini has also insisted this week that Balotelli will stay with the Premier League champions, and Galliani says a move is unlikely.
“Kaka and Drogba are 101% not coming to Milan. Balotelli? He is 99.9% …” he said.
“Abate and Antonini are staying. Their agent was in Russia to see through Salvatore Bocchetti’s transfer to Spartak Moscow, that is all.”
As revealed by Goal.com, Manchester City have lowered their asking price for the striker to €23 million with the Italian having already given notice on his house as he prepares for a move away.
Andrea Stramaccioni has stressed that Jose Mourinho will always be part of Inter’s history following his spell in charge of the Nerazzurri.
The 50-year-old left the Giuseppe Meazza side for Real Madrid in the summer of 2010 after guiding them to a historic treble, and Stramaccioni has stressed that the current Madrid boss’ performances will always be remembered by the fans.
“Jose will always remain embedded in Inter’s history, forever remembered and honoured by club and fans alike, just as he deserves,” the Inter boss said at a press conference.
“I think the same way myself, because for all of us Interisti, he will still be special in 100 years’ time.”
The Madrid boss turned 50 on Saturday, and Stramaccioni did not pass up on the opportunity to congratulate the Portuguese on his birthday.
He said: “I sent him a text to wish him happy birthday, now I can do it publicly too.”
Former Real Madrid director Jorge Valdano does not believe conspiracy theories claiming that the Spanish press is trying to destabilise the Santiago Bernabeu side.
Club president Florentino Perez hit out at Marca earlier this week after the paper had said Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos had threatened to leave the club if head coach Jose Mourinho remained next season.
The 65-year-old suggested that the report was published in order to destabilise the squad, a theory which the Argentine rejects.
“I’m convinced that there is no conspiracy against Real Madrid,” Valdano was quoted as saying by Marca.
“I think Florentino came out to try to contain a problem that might have spiralled out of proportion if the club didn’t nip it in the bud.
“The fact that Florentino is involved means it is no ordinary story. I don’t think Real Madrid have been destabilised, though.”
Real Madrid are currently preparing for the Liga match at home against Getafe on Sunday.
It is an early start for these two sides on Sunday as the local derby between Real Madrid and Getafe kicks off at the Bernabeu at 12:00CET. The hosts have seen an improvement of form in the new year and are unbeaten thus far in 2013.
Given the form of their opponents on Sunday, that record is unlikely to change and Coral price a home win at 1/6 (1.18). Getafe, meanwhile, are without a win in their last six matches and are struggling badly for goals, but can be backed at 14/1 (15.00), with the draw offered at 6/1 (7.00).
When Madrid are massive favourites at home against unfancied opposition, it is extremely tricky to find any value, with the two general bets being either over 1.5 goals in the first half or Madrid to win both halves.
Two or more goals in the opening 45 minutes is offered at 4/6 (1.65) which is not the biggest price in the world by any stretch of the imagination but looks a solid bet for punters to sink their proverbial teeth in to.
However the 11/10 (2.10) for Madrid to win both halves looks extremely generous as los Blancos should have very few problems against a lacklustre Getafe outfit, while this bet has also paid out in both of Madrid’s last two home matches.
With Real Madrid scoring four times in both of Getafe’s last two visits to the Bernabeu, back a high scoring encounter as your value bet, with over 5.5 goals offered at 7/2 (4.50).
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on TV in Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.