Mario Balotelli has been dealt a blow in his quest to return to Italy after AC Milan ruled out a move for the Manchester City striker.

Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has claimed that recent reports linking him with a move for Balotelli were misinterpreted and that the Italian striker would be too expensive for him.

It is no secret that City boss Roberto Mancini and Balotelli have had their differences during their time in Manchester together and with the striker’s form on the pitch below standard, a January deal may have been on the cards.

Balotelli has been in Italy this week after the birth of his daughter and is not guaranteed to be back in time for today’s vital Manchester derby at the Etihad. This may just be another nail in the coffin of Balotelli’s City career as the bit-part forward seems to be running out of time to keep his relationship with Mancini civil.

“My words have been misinterpreted. I do not dream about Balotelli at night,” Berlusconi told Sky Sport Italia.

“There are no negotiations going on because he will cost too much and we cannot afford him.”

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