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Roberto Mancini "sad" at Mario Balotelli exit

Mancini
© PA Photos
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says that he was sad to see Mario Balotelli leave the club for AC Milan, but insists the move was best for all parties.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has admitted that he was sad to see Mario Balotelli leave the club.

The 22-year-old forward signed a four-and-a-half-year contract at AC Milan on Thursday.

While Mancini was emotional about the £19m move, he insists that it was the best outcome for all parties.

He said: "It was good for everyone; for Mario, to take a big chance to go to Italy and play with top club like Milan. It was important for him and for the club.

"No, we are not happy. Mario did well, maybe not in the last three or four months because of injury, but he helped us win the Premier League and FA Cup. We are sad that he leaves.

"It was difficult. It was only my decision. I believe in him and I believe for him after two years in England, it was important for him to go back to Italy."

Balotelli scored 20 goals in 54 Premier League appearances for City.

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Mario Balotelli looks towards manager Roberto Mancini as he is substituted in the Manchester derby on December 9, 2012
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