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

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

European Soccer

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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