Sicilian born Mario Balotelli now appears to be stuck between staying with Internazionale Milan, and apologising for his conduct, and moving to Manchester City and fighting for a first team place.
There are two factors that seem to be preventing the deal from being concluded. The first is that Manchester City and Internazionale Milan cannot agree on a transfer fee, seemingly as much as £7 million apart in their valuations. Manchester City are unwilling to pay more than £20 million ( €24 million ) immediately, with bonuses added on for a potential further date, whilst Internazionale Milan are unwilling to release the player until they receive £27 million ( €32 million ) as a starting payment. The second factor is that Mario Bolatelli himself now appears unsure of the move. Apparently he was under the impression that if he signed for Manchester City he would be assured the first team football he was not guaranteed at Internazionale Milan, where he often appeared only as a substitute. With competition from the likes of Craig Bellamy, Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor, Adam Johnson and Roque Santa Cruz, plus the likely return of Robinho, it became obvious that Balotelli would only be playing in the first team if his performances and effort warranted it. Mario Balotelli is naturally uneasy with the thought of moving clubs at just 19 years old to be a substitute.
The Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, who was previously the Internazionale Milan manager and knows Mario Balotelli from his time at the San Siro, is obviously unwilling to guarantee first team football to a teenager because of the potentially devastating impact that might have on others at the club, undermining the idea of a meritocracy where you only play if you deserve to.
The deal is not quite over yet and there are still obvious reasons why it might yet happen. Manchester City are searching for another attacker, as they have admitted publicly. The Manchester City manager knows Mario Balotelli personally and is an admirer. The Manchester clubs owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has previously stated his intention of signing the worlds best players. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Internazionale Milan owner, Massimo Moratti, has indicated his willingness to sell some of his squad, particularly Mario Balotelli.
If one club wants to sell, the other wants to buy and the player concerned is willing to move if certain conditions are met a deal is usually made. As it stands however, despite all these reasons for the deal, it appears it is currently stalling.