Date: 12th October 2014 at 8:08pm
Written by:

AC Milan sporting director Umburto Gandini has said the sale of Mario Balotelli to Liverpool made everyone at the Italian club happy.

Balotelli joined Liverpool in a £16million deal from Milan in the summer, in a move boss Brendan Rodgers described as a ‘calculated risk.’

The Italian has had a slow start to his Anfield career, scoring one goal in his opening seven games.

He was dropped for the Reds 2-1 win over West Brom prior to the international break, and has also been overlooked by the Italian national side.

And Gandini hardly gave a ringing endorsement of the 24-year-old when questioned on his sale.

“We all felt coming to Italy, to a place where he was loved, would have been the ideal environment for him to blossom into a star player,” he said.

“But it didn’t work out for both sides.

“Mario was not the kind of player we were looking for in order to have a better team on the pitch.

“On the other hand, he probably felt the Premier League was the best stage for him to perform on and he wanted to go back there.

“So Liverpool came at just the right time. It just made everyone happy.”

Balotelli netted 26 times in 43 Serie A appearances for Milan, but Gandini says the 24-year-old is not a natural goal-getter.

He added: “The way Mario plays is not like a pure number nine, a centre forward.

“Our problem at Milan was not having a forward who played in the box. But Mario was not used to doing that.”