“I don’t think City will sell as Mario has a five-year contract – but if they did, we’d be there” Adriano Galliani, vice-president of AC Milan.
Seems innocent enough, doesn’t it? A simple statement of admiration for a player who is really starting to fire on all cylinders at Manchester City.
And since when has anything in football been innocent?
Nowadays, no self-respecting Premiership club will even mention the name of a player contracted to another club, even if they are already in negotiations to sign said player. Thankfully, mutual respect generally holds sway in English football, although this has only been the case for the last few years, since “tapping-up” became the watchword of all transfer dealings.
Of course, we know that such rules do not apply to our erstwhile continental counterparts; if Real Madrid want a player, they will talk about it non-stop until the player becomes unsettled, has their head turned, and los Bandidos eventually get their man. So Galliani’s words are certainly nothing we haven’t heard before, and they certainly shouldn’t have City fans worried. Yet.
But Milan are definitely giving Balotelli a little nudge; just to say “look, don’t forget, if you don’t like Manchester, we are waiting to bring you back to Milan.”
Unfortunately, footballers are not always the brightest, and most feel little allegiance to their clubs, making it all too easy for the thinking-men in football – the agents, the chairmen, the owners – to manipulate them.
Shame on them.
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