Balotelli completes Milan move
© AFP

Mario Balotelli has completed his move to AC Milan, Premier League champions Manchester City have confirmed, bringing to an end his two-and-a-half year spell in England.

Milan also confirmed Balotelli had signed a four-and-a-half year contract and would be presented to the press as a Rossoneri player on Friday evening. A statement from the Serie A club read: "AC Milan announces that it has acquired from Manchester City Mario Balotelli, who has signed a contract until 30 June 2017."

Balotelli helped City win the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League title last year and admitted he would miss the club. He told City's website, www.mcfc.co.uk: "For sure I will remember my brilliant team-mates, the manager and all the supporters.

"They are the best, they were great with me and I will always have a very special place in my heart for City, it's a great club with a great future. I thank them for all of their support of me. Maybe one day we will see each other again."

I love Roberto, he has been very important for my career, and I will always thank him for having trust and faith in me.
Mario Balotelli on Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini

Balotelli also paid tribute to City boss Roberto Mancini, who afforded the often wayward striker considerable latitude during his time at the club. Balotelli said: "Yes, I said goodbye to everyone at the meal in London before the game at QPR.

"It was a very emotional for me. I spoke with Roberto before I went to speak to the players. We spoke for some time about lots of things. He was sad, and I was too.

"But it was a good conversation. I love Roberto, he has been very important for my career, and I will always thank him for having trust and faith in me. Being at City was an important part of my life and career. I needed to grow up like a player and as a person and it has been a very good experience for me."

The striker, who scored in Italy's 3-1 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifying win against Denmark, admitted City's fortunes would continue to interest him. Balotelli said: "I will always be interested in Manchester City and their fortunes. I really hope that City can win the league again this year and beat United. I think there are great players at the club and a great manager too. The club will be very successful in the future and that makes me happy."

Balotelli's arrival in Milan prompted chaotic scenes. He was swamped by reporters, photographers and fans as he arrived a clinic for his medical and outside a restaurant where he met club officials.