Marco Amelia believes Mario Balotelli could become a great player if he moves to AC Milan.
As Goal.com exclusively revealed earlier this week, the Rossoneri are finalising a bid for the Manchester City striker as they negotiate the sales of Robinho and Alexandre Pato.
Although he admits he does not wish to see the Brazil duo depart San Siro, Amelia believes Balotelli could begin to fulfil his potential with the Serie A giants.
He told Tuttosport: “I’m not sure what will happen. As a friend and companion, I’d like Robinho and Pato remain, but now …
“I do not know Mario well. I think he crossed a particular moment in his life and I think it might be good for him to come to Milan, this is an environment that allows certain types of behaviour and I’m sure he is willing to prove he can be a great player.”
Milan face the daunting prospect of Barcelona in the Champions League last 16, and while Amelia concedes the Liga leaders are the overwhelming favourites, he insists anything can happen in a two-legged tie.
“On paper they are the best team in the world, the departure of [Pep] Guardiola has not changed that, they continue to leave very little for their opponents,” he continued.
“We met them four times last season. They play more or less the same football; however, like everyone else, they have weaknesses and in 180 minutes something could be given.”
The 30-year-old went on to laud the talents of Lionel Messi, and warned that it can often prove almost impossible to stop him.
He added: “He’s a phenomenon. We should try to stop him getting near goal, although he has the ability to dribble all the way there.
“Then his shots … they seem simple, sometimes harmless, but they give the keeper problems all the time.”