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Mancini sorry to lose Balotelli

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has said he is disappointed to lose Mario Balotelli to AC Milan.

After his side were unable to break down league cellar-dwellers QPR in a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road on Tuesday, the Italian boss said he was sad to see his compatriot depart the Etihad Stadium.

“They are very close (to completing a deal) and we are also so sad because Mario was an important player for us,” Mancini said.

“With Mario we won the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Charity Shield. He’s a fantastic player, but for him, this could be an important chance to come back to Italy and play for a top club like Milan and I hope he can continue to improve because he can become one of the best players in the world.

“It’s difficult for me because I lost one striker and that could be important in the next 14 games.

“It is important for Mario to go back to Italy. It could be a good chance for him to stay with his family and to play for Milan. He can improve and I am happy for him. He can be one of the best players in the world.”

QPR manager Harry Redknapp was not ready to rest on his laurels after picking up another valuable point, this time against the champions, as he looked to bolster his squad with strikers Peter Odemwingie or Peter Crouch before the transfer window shuts.

The former Tottenham manager said his club is in desperate need of reinforcements.

“We need to strengthen the squad – tonight I had two ‘keepers on the bench because there were no other senior outfield players here,” Redknapp said.

“There are one or two lads who are here who want to leave as well, so we went through the numbers tonight and we’ve probably got about 17 (players) for our 25-man squad. We’ve got to fill it up a bit.

“We are desperately short in quite a few areas really, we do need some reinforcements.”

Redknapp agreed the situation before him was far from ideal, as QPR still sit three points deep in the relegation zone.

“It’s not what I want,” he said.

“I wish we had a squad which didn’t need strengthening and we could all go out for dinner somewhere instead of messing around like idiots on the phone all night.

“We’ll have to see, hopefully we can get some stuff done tomorrow (Wednesday).”

Wed 30 January, 2013
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