sport

Berlusconi: Mario a rotten apple

Silvio Berlusconi has ended talk that AC Milan are interested in Mario Balotelli, describing the Manchester City striker as a "rotten apple".

Balotelli has been linked with a move to Milan as a possible replacement for the already-departured Pato and Robinho, who is expected to leave during the current transfer window, but Berlusconi has ruled the move out.

The Rossoneri president said: "The name of Balotelli never came into my thoughts, he is a rotten apple and could infect every group where he goes, even Milan.

"I'm sorry to say this, but in Milan is very important to the human aspect. If you put a rotten apple in the locker room can infect all the others."

Italy international Balotelli has been out of favour at the Etihad following his lacklustre display in the Manchester derby against Manchester United and was recently pictured confronting manager Roberto Mancini during a training session.