Sunday Ticker: Balotelli could be sold for right price, Messi ties La Liga record, and more

BY DAN KARELL

As each day passes, it seems more likely that the Mario Balotelli experiment at Manchester City will be coming to an end.

A.C. Milan is interested in making a bid for the the 23-year-old Italian, though according to a report from Italian publication Gazzetta Dello Sport, Manchester City are holding out for a £31 million transfer fee.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani, who has been very busy the last month securing transfer deals for players in and out of the club, was quoted as saying he would wait until Monday to speak with Manchester City again.

Balotelli has scored just one goal this season in 14 league appearances, and has not started for the Citizens since December 9.

Here are some other stories to get your Sunday started:

MESSI TIES LA LIGA GOALS RECORD

During Barcelona’s 3-2 loss last night to Real Sociedad, Lionel Messi scored yet again, his tenth league game in a row with a goal, tying a record set in 1942 by Mariano Martin, and tied again in 1996-1997 by former World Player of the Year Ronaldo.

The last La Liga match where Messi was scoreless was on November 3 in a home match against Celta Vigo. The Argentine has scored 29 goals in 20 matches this season for Barcelona in the league.

Messi can break the record next Sunday in a home match against Osasuna.

TWO DRAWS TO OPEN AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS

The opening two matches of the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa both finished in 0-0 draws. South Africa took on minnows Cape Verde in the first match, with Morocco facing Angola in the second match.

Cape Verde will be proud of the result, as it’s the tiny island nation’s first ever point in the AFCON. Meanwhile Morocco and Angola, both full of good attacking talent, will be disappointed that no one could score.

The tournament continues today with action in Group B, as Ghana takes on Democratic Republic of Congo in the first match, with Mali against Niger to follow.

POGBA WONDER GOAL LEADS JUVENTUS TO WIN

Former Manchester United youth star Paul Pogba, who controversially left the English club for Juventus this past summer, scored this goal yesterday in a 4-0 win over Udinese that left millions around the world with their jaws agape.

Following the match, Pogba was compared to a young Frank Rijkaard by his manager Antonio Conte, though the young Frenchman shot down those claims.

The 19-year-old moved to Manchester United in 2009, and made seven appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils before his switch to the Old Lady.

DEL PIERO BAGS FOUR GOALS IN SYDNEY FC WIN

Speaking of Juventus, former Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero isn’t having too tough of a time adjusting to life in Australia, as he scored four goals yesterday in his side’s 7-1 win over Wellington Phoenix.

The 38-year-old World Cup winner completed his first ever hat trick in just 18 minutes, second fastest all time in the history of the A-League.

Del Piero now has nine goals in 14 matches for Sydney FC, and he recently announced he would be playing at the club for until 2014 at the earliest.

NEWCASTLE AGREE TERMS WITH MONTPELLIER

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is desperate for reinforcements, and has dipped into Ligue Un once more to help his team stave off relegation.

According to reports, French champions Montpellier have agreed to a £6.7 million transfer with the Tyneside club for highly-rated defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

Newcastle are expected to make the transfer official this week, and Yanga-Mbiwa’s switch could open the door for want-away defender Fabricio Coloccini to return to his native Argentina.

QUICK KICKS

English international defender Ashley Cole has agreed a new one-year contract with his current club Chelsea. (REPORT)

PSG midfielder Thiago Motta has been suspended for three matches after earning a red card against Ajaccio. (REPORT)

River Plate defeat Boca Juniors 2-0 in the first SuperClasico of 2013. (REPORT)

Uruguay suspend league football for 10 days after Nacional goalkeeper Jorge Bava punched a police officer on the pitch. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you think that City will lower their price to get Balotelli out of town as fast as they can? Do you see Messi breaking the scoring-streak record next weekend? Can Yanga-Mbiwa help save Newcastle from relegation?

Share your thoughts below.

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8 Responses to Sunday Ticker: Balotelli could be sold for right price, Messi ties La Liga record, and more

  1. MemRook says:

    31 millions pounds for Balotelli? I wouldn’t do it maybe 15 or 20. But until he proves he isnt a total headache totally not worth it for me.

    • David JS says:

      all this talk about Balotelli leaving Man City is just bs… Not only does Mancini love him, but the owners love him too. The only way Mario would leave in the near future was if Mancini got sacked and someone like the Special One was brought in who just didn’t want to deal with him. The only reason these constant stories exist is because people know the Mario’s name will sell papers and generate a buzz.

  2. isaf says:

    50 million dollars for an egotistical streaky young striker with 1 goal in 14matches this season? Seriously

  3. isaf says:

    29 goals in 20 league matches. Plud he is barely ever injured. Messi is just a Beast. No way he is human

  4. Ramsizzler says:

    Goalkeeper in Uruguay punched a cop in the face? That’s going to go well for him…

    • MMV says:

      That’s pale in comparison to what happened outside or near the stadium where a young man was shot when ultras of Nacional and Penarol clashed. Sad thing is all of this ridiculous violence occurred at a friendly tournament — not even real competition. That doesn’t negate the incident just it goes to show you how serious and dangerous the rivarly of Nacional & Penarol is. A compete disgrace.

  5. Ca says:

    Do they not play defense in the Aussie league?

  6. Michael F SBI Mafia Original says:

    Based on SAF’s comments and Conte ‘s, Pogba is a Balotelli in the making.