AC Milan have released a statement denying reports suggesting Mario Balotelli has been put on the transfer list, Sky Sports understands.
According to Italian newspaper Il Secolo XIX, club president Silvio Berlusconi transfer listed Balotelli after a quarrel with the former Internazionale and Manchester City striker.
“I’ve had enough and the decision is made. Mario is officially on the market and we need to sell him before the end of January,” Berlusconi was quoted as saying in Il Secolo XIX.
However, Milan have moved to rubbished the aforementioned speculation, insisting Balotelli is not for sale ahead of the January transfer window.
“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,” read a club statement.
“Mario Balotelli is and remains a Milan player.”
Balotelli, who joined Milan from Manchester City for a fee believed to be in the region of €20 million in January, has bagged eight goals and three assists in 18 appearances in all competitions for the Rossoneri this season.
Thirteenth-placed Milan will look to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat to bitter rivals Inter when they host Atalanta at the San Siro on 6 January 2014.
Stephan El Shaarawy will not be available for the upcoming fixture against Atalanta after being ruled out for 10 weeks following foot surgery.
Jelavic not short of potential suitors
Everton striker Nikica Jelavic may be allowed to leave Goodison Park when the transfer window re-opens in January, according to manager Roberto Martinez.
The Croatia international, 28, has fallen out of favour with Martinez following the arrival of Chelsea ace Romelu Lukaku, and understandably so.
After netting just eight times in 43 competitive appearances in 2012/13, Jelavic has yet to get on the score-sheet for the Toffees this season.
Two unnamed clubs have already enquired about the 28-year-old, who is in need of regular first-team football in order to bolster his hopes of being named to the Vatreni squad for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
“We’ve had a couple of enquiries from two different clubs for one of our players,” said Martinez.
“Nikica Jelavic is someone who we have made it very clear to – we’ve had a conversation and he has the World Cup around the corner.
“He needs to be playing minutes and we understand that. We’ll always try to give it a good assessment of the situation but that’s not affecting anyone at the club.
“All we are focusing on is being as good as we can on Sunday.
“Whatever happens in January will be for the good of the football club and that’s where the work is.”
Jelavic is 15/8 to score at anytime against Southampton on Sunday.