Allegri: Balotelli could start against Udinese

Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that new AC Milan signing Mario Balotelli may be in line for an official debut on Sunday, as he is in “good shape physically”, despite only joining the squad this week.

The 22-year-old was quick to mark his return to Italy with a goal, as he scored in a friendly on Thursday.

And Allegri has no fears about putting the former Manchester City forward straight into the starting line-up where he could feature alongside Giampaolo Pazzini.

He joined on Thursday, and is in good shape physically,” he told reporters.

“I will decide today [Saturday] whether he’ll start or be on the bench. It is not just a tactical choice, but also dictated by the situation.

In my view he can be paired with Pazzini, who has done well so far this season.”

Allegri also recognised the signing has benefited Milan in more ways than one, pointing to the lift the transfer has given the Rossoneri.

He added: “Balotelli’s arrival is important for the club in media terms. He has brought a strong wave of enthusiasm, although we must remain detached from that.”

Milan now have a wealth of attacking options despite the loss of Alexandre Pato to Corinthians, with Stephan El Shaarawy, Bojan and M’Baye Niang already demonstrating their potential this season.

And the added firepower up front is something which suits the coach.

I think it’s good to maintain a healthy competition for places between the players,” Allegri continued.

Things are going better, we must concentrate on tomorrow’s game which will allow us to stay in the race for a Champions League spot.”

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