sport

No Milan exit for Balotelli

Mario Balotelli insists he is staying with AC Milan as he wants to feel settled heading into a World Cup summer.

Milan have endured a poor season in Serie A so far, and lie down in 11th place after winning just five of their 18 games.

Balotelli, who has scored 18 goals in 24 Serie A games since joining Milan from Manchester City for 19million last January, is expected to be part of Italy's squad in Brazil this summer.

And the 23-year-old insists he has no interest in leaving the San Siro, telling weekly magazine Chi: "I will remain at Milan - I must arrive at the World Cup especially tranquil."

In December, Milan denied speculation that Balotelli would be available to buy in this month's transfer window.

Reports emanating from Italy claimed Milan president Silvio Berlusconi was ready to listen to offers for Balotelli after a bust-up with the player.

But Milan moved quickly to dismiss the rumours, saying in a club statement: "AC Milan deny absolutely and with strength the declarations that would have been referred to the Milan president about an unthinkable collocation of Mario Balotelli on the market.

"Mario Balotelli is and remains a Milan player."