Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has confirmed the club had hoped to bring Mario Balotelli to the club in the off-season.
The Italy international was born in the Sicilian city, but made his breakthrough at Lumezzane before starring for Inter, Manchester City and AC Milan.
A controversial figure, Balotelli’s subsequent struggles at Liverpool left him free to make a move ahead of the current campaign, eventually signing for Nice in France.
The 26-year-old has scored four goals in his first two Ligue 1 appearances, and while Zamparini was disappointed to find Balotelli’s demands too costly, he is happy to see the player back on form.
“Did I want Balotelli? Yes,” Zamparini told Rai Sport. “I am pleased for him and also with how he is behaving at Nice. I am sure that he is a golden boy.
“The cost for Palermo was too high, I can’t allow that type of thing anymore. Maybe Nice can. I am pro-Balotelli!”
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