AC Milan Sell Mario Balotelli Shirts Before He's Completed Transfer

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2013

Mario Balotelli has always been a footballer who sells papers and attracts the cameras, and soon-to-be new club AC Milan are taking advantage of that by making his new shirt available as soon as possible to adoring fans.

In fact, they are already selling Balotelli shirts from the club website—and according to the Daily Mirror, they've sold over a thousand so far before the striker has even formally completed his move back to Italy.

Such has been Milan's haste to rake in the commercial benefits from the transfer that they have reportedly sold the shirts with the wrong squad number on. Balotelli is seemingly to wear No. 45, as he has done for Manchester City for two-and-a-half years, not the No. 9 shirt recently vacated by Alexandre Pato.

Balotelli, capped 16 times by Italy, will move for a fee of up to €25 million (via BBC) after completing a medical. Though he had not been unveiled as planned by Wednesday afternoon because of poor weather, it is not thought that anything will prevent the transfer from being completed before the closure of the winter transfer window.

As for Manchester City, though they have gained significantly in the transfer fee they will receive from AC Milan, they have had to react quickly themselves to make some online club shop alterations, with Balotelli's famous "Why Always Me" t-shirt swiftly placed with the "reduced items" (h/t Dan Talintyre).

Super Mario scored just three times in 20 games this season for Manchester City as he fell to fourth-choice striker, and only one of those goals came in the Premier League.

In total he played 54 times in the English top flight, scoring 20 goals.