He's no oil painting but agent says Balotelli is worth as much as the Mona Lisa
17:33 GMT, 5 December 2012
Mario Balotelli's agent has insisted that no Italian club can afford to buy the Manchester City striker because he 'costs as much as the Mona Lisa'.
The 22-year-old has been linked with a move to the San Siro and a return to Italy after slipping down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium.
Spot the difference: Mario Balotelli's agent compared him to the Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait
of a woman by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, which has been
acclaimed as 'the best known, the most visited, the most written about,
the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world.'
painting, thought to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of
Francesco del Giocondo, is in oil on a poplar panel, and is believed to
have been painted between 1503 and 1506.
It was acquired by King Francis
I of France and is now the property of the French Republic, on
permanent display at the Muse du Louvre in Paris.
The ambiguity of the
subject's expression – frequently described as enigmatic, the
monumentality of the composition, the subtle modeling of forms and the
atmospheric illusionism were novel qualities that have contributed to
the continuing fascination and study of the work.
Manager Roberto Mancini prefers Carlos Tevez and Segio Aguero to the young Italy international.
president Silvio Berlusconi has previously suggested that their
interest in Balotelli is serious, claiming that signing him 'is not a
dream' with the January window around the corner.
Mino Raiola, Balotelli's agent and close advisor, told Sky Sport
Italia: 'Balotelli costs as much as the Mona Lisa. There are no teams in
Italy who could afford him.'
has only started eight games for the Barclays Premier League champions
this season but Raiola says the club are not willing to let him leave.
Raiola added: 'Manchester City don't want to sell Balotelli.'
City crashed out of Europe after losing to Borussia Dortmund in Germany in their final Champions League match, making it the worst European campaign by an English club in the history of the competition.
The face neighbours Manchester United in a huge derby clash at the Etihad this Sunday.