Monday Ticker: Balotelli speaks out, Valencia extends contract and more

Balotelli (Getty Images)

By CALEB SONNELAND

Mario Balotelli can't seem to stop making headlines for the wrong reasons.

Not long after his intensely public bust up with Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and his actions during an exhibition against the Los Angeles Galaxy, the controversial City striker has come out and stated his dislike for the area of Manchester.

Despite only joining City last summer from Inter Milan, Balotelli says he may not see out the duration of his five-year contract with the club, "doesn't like the city," and misses his home of city Brescia.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:

VALENCIA EXTENDS MANCHESTER STAY

Manchester United and Antonio Valencia have agreed on a four-year deal that will keep the Ecuadorian midfielder with the club through 2015.

The fleet-footed winger has been with the Red Devils for the last two years but broke his ankle early last season and had to miss most of the campaign. He did not play in Manchester United's recent tour of the United States but is eyeing a return to fitness ahead of the upcoming Premier League season.

BARTON LET GO BY NEWCASTLE

Joey Barton is no stranger to controversy, and this summer's transfer saga has placed him in familiar territory.

It was revealed today that the English midfielder has been told he is free to leave Newcastle United after being unable to reach terms with the Premier League club. Barton, who was not permitted to be with the club for its recent friendlies in the United States after failing to secure a visa because of his checkered background, did not take the news well, as he quickly took to Twitter to vent his frustration with the higher-ups within the Magpies administration.

Barton's agent, Willie McKay, claims that the club is making a "suicidal" mistake in letting the player go on a free transfer.

Reportedly, three clubs are monitoring the progress of the player who is coming off a solid season at Newcastle.

ATLETICO LINE UP MOVE FOR DIEGO

Atletico Madrid is reportedly on the brink of a €10 million move for Brazilian attacker Diego from Wolfsburg.

Diego only joined the Bundesliga outfit last summer, but after a well-publicized falling out with the club, the player looks set to swap shirts this summer.

Madrid recently lost its prize assets in Sergio Aguero and David de Gea to the EPL duo from Manchester and is looking to invest some of the transfer revenue in Diego.

VUCINIC LANDS DEAL WITH JUVENTUS

The highly sought-after Mirko Vucinic has finally found a home in Turin, Italy.

The Montenegro international completed a move to Juventus believed to be in the region of €15 million today and becomes the latest recruit to the Serie A side along with Andrea Pirlo, Reto Ziegler, Arturo Vidal and Stephan Lichsteiner.

The striker was long linked with other clubs such as EPL giants Manchester United, Chelsea, as well as Tottenham, which showed strong, late interest toward the tail end of the transfer saga.

Vucinic signed on from fellow Italian team Roma where he bagged 46 goals in 147 appearances for the club.

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What do you make of Balotelli's latest comments? Do you see Valencia having a bounce-back year this season? Do you think Newcastle is making a mistake in letting Barton go? Think Diego would fit in well in La Liga? How do you see Vucinic fitting in at Juventus?

Share your thoughts below.

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26 Responses to Monday Ticker: Balotelli speaks out, Valencia extends contract and more

  1. giaco says:

    Manchester is kinda ucky.

  2. Czo13 says:

    First Nolan, Now Barton….Ohh how Ashley needs to go

  3. Chris says:

    Even City fans hate Mario. He has the maturity of an 8 year old. If I were replacing Mancini as manager, my first course of action would be selling Mario to any club willing to take him for whatever the fee. If no offers were received, I’d just terminate his contract. I didnt know it was possible to hate a player who plays for the club you support this much.

  4. T says:

    Mario should be benched and have to play in the reserve league for the entire season, maybe then he’ll use his talents instead of voicing his displeasure for everything that doesn’t go his way.

  5. K-Town says:

    I hope Mario’s career implodes. What did he think Manchester was going to be like? Certainly not his beloved Italy. But for the money they paid him to go there does it even matter? He can buy several Villas back home and fly there on weekends if he is homesick. I hate guys like this, and I dislike having to say the word hate about a person. Suck it up kid, your life is better than most. quite b!tchin and just play. Try being happy for once. I only wish I could talk that much crap about my employer, but I’d be unemployed with no pay. He is not only still employed, but wipe his butt with banjamins rich.

  6. maka says:

    Damn it, Mario. Just say you heard a whistle and thought you were offside.

  7. Chris says:

    He would bitch 10,000 times more if that were to happen. He just needs to leave the team altogether. When you have the funds we do, you want players with world class talent but not a world class ego, like David Silva or Edin Dzeko for example (I’m still backing Dzeko for future 20 goal seasons, he was a player who needed time to settle). If you can mix world class talent with unity and teamwork, you basically have barcelona or Man U. If not, you are Real Madrid or to some extent Chelsea, both of which win nothing consistently. I’m looking forward to Aguero, he seems to be ambitious but not cocky or whiny like Mario.

  8. CplDaniel says:

    I don’t blame him…you give up a lot of the great parts of the outdoors living in England. Imagine: no blue sky, tons of snow, unpredictable and always untimely long-spells of rain. It’s no wonder they were so eager to get out and colonize the entire globe!

  9. LiquidYogi says:

    So he misses his family. Can’t someone be honest without it being a personal slight against everyone? Guess what there is no law against offending other people. You’re offended…so what shut up about it.

  10. Shane says:

    I’m pretty sure he said that he didnt like Manchester a while ago.

  11. ManicMessiah says:

    Ashley runs Newcastle like their his sporting goods empire, import players, pay less wages, charge the same prices. Carroll, Nolan, Barton, and Enrique will be leaving soon. So 4 of the best 5 players from last year won’t be there.

    Can’t imagine them staying up, as they needed 2 players before Barton left, and Enrique (and Routledge who is definitely leaving, probably Alan Smith too) makes 6 more players to have a small squad.

    Oh, and Ben Arfa is going to miss the start of the season on their pre-season tour to the US, which was poorly planned and left 3 or 4 players with injuries.

    Other than that, looking like a great buildup to the season!

  12. mistadobolina says:

    free transfer.. joey barton to MLS.. oh wait he is not allowed in the USA..

  13. Turgid Jacobian says:

    I have a strong feeling Dzeko will have plenty of goals come Boxing Day.

  14. marco says:

    Balotelli doesn’t like Manchester, and Pires doesn’t like Philly, but only one did the sane thing, Pires stayed away.

  15. jones says:

    Sounds like New England…ah, the New World!

  16. CJ says:

    Thank God. He’s a complete nutter, full stop. He should be in prison not professional football.

  17. jpc says:

    Yeah but Italy is full of sweaty Italians

  18. Monty says:

    Keep being yourselves Balotelli and Barton you guys are two of the few interesting guys we have in this sport.

  19. Chris says:

    Me too

  20. Chris says:

    I feel like if I supported any other team than city Mario would entertain me to no end.

  21. Good Jeremy says:

    If you’re getting paid millions of dollars a year to be good at kicking a ball and make your city proud and you do neither, fans have the right to complain.

  22. Brett says:

    I don’t have a problem with his opinions themselves, but he needs to be more professional. It’s not like I care about what he thinks of the city. Just transfer him and be done with it. It’s not like City is hurting for talent.

  23. K Bone says:

    City needs a lot more world class talent to be considered up there with United and certainly Barca. They have plenty of really good players, but very few world class. You have Tevez, whose leaving, Aguero who hasn’t played in the EPL yet, Silva, Yaya Toure, and maybe Kompany and De Jong. Dzeko is certainly not world class. Just because they get paid like world class players doesn’t make them play that way…

  24. Brent McD says:

    Amazing that anyone would want to play for manUre or sChitty. Manchester is a dump.

  25. joe says:

    Sounds like my time in Milan. I was there from August to December and I dont’ think I saw the sun for a total of three hours the whole time I was there.

  26. Brent McD. says:

    he would fit right in a low-talent, thug-tackling league