Mario Balotelli was on verge of joining Juventus after leaving Man City before switching to AC Milan

Scott Polacek Manchester City FC

Mario Balotelli has opened up on how he vetoed a move to Juventus in 2013 when he was sold by Manchester City

The controversial Italian striker was leaving the Etihad Stadium following a three-year spell in which he helped them win the Premier League with the assist for that end-of-season clincher by Sergio Aguero against Queens Park Rangers

There was plenty of interest to take the striker back to Italy and it appeared Juventus were on the verge of capturing Balotelli that summer, before the player stepped in to re-route himself to Milan.  

Mario Balotelli (left) could have been Giorgio Chiellini's (right) team-mate at Juventus had he not backed out of a deal to join the Turin-based side in 2013 when he left Manchester City

Mario Balotelli (left) could have been Giorgio Chiellini’s (right) team-mate at Juventus had he not backed out of a deal to join the Turin-based side in 2013 when he left Manchester City

An approach from AC Milan and sporting director Adriano Galliani (right) proved to be decisive

An approach from AC Milan and sporting director Adriano Galliani (right) proved to be decisive

While Balotelli, who now plays in attack for his hometown club Brescia, rarely gives public interviews, he explained why the switch to Turin never transpired on Instagram Live with social media influencer Damiano Er Faina.  

‘Adriano Galliani wanted me at Milan. After Manchester City, I was going to Juve and was OK with that, but then Galliani got in the way and when I heard Milan were involved, I lost it,’ Balotelli told Er Faina, as per Football Italia.

‘As you know, I am a fan of Milan, so I followed my heart. At the time, Milan were seventh or eighth in the table, so it would’ve been smarter for me to go to Juventus, but I have Milan in my heart.

Balotelli had generated plenty of interest back in his native early after his time in Manchester

Balotelli had generated plenty of interest back in his native early after his time in Manchester

‘To be honest, I love Inter too. Juve would’ve been a practical choice and I did think about it, but then I chose with my heart.’

In the end, Juventus and boss Antonio Conte bolstered their front line by acquiring Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente that summer, with Balotelli wearing red and black in Milan.  

For Balotelli, it is a case of what might have been as Juventus went on to win Serie A that following season by a canter. 

Conte’s team finished with 102 points, 17 points ahead of Roma in second, and 45 points ahead of Balotelli and Milan who were all the way down in eighth.  

After such a disappointing campaign, Balotelli returned to England 12 months on when he signed for Liverpool.  

His natural affinity to Milan saw him return there on loan in 2015-16, before going on to play for Nice, Marseille and Brescia, where he is currently.  

He joined Milan but spent one season there, finishing eighth, before he was sold to Liverpool

He joined Milan but spent one season there, finishing eighth, before he was sold to Liverpool

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