Mario Balotelli was left unimpressed by the lack of drama on transfer deadline day in his native Italy as the Nice striker was reduced to paying compliments to the female Sky Sport presenters.
The Italy striker, who has returned to his best form in Ligue 1 this season having arrived as a deadline day free transfer last summer, hoped to tune in to more drama on the final day of the January window.
There were a few moves from Serie A to the Premier League with Manolo Gabbiadini’s £17million switch from Napoli to Southampton the biggest single outlay for a player by an English top flight side.
Lazio midfielder Ravel Morrison joined QPR on loan, while Udinese defender Molla Wague moved to Leicester and Andrea Ranocchia moved from Inter Milan to Hull in a similar temporary switches.
But the 26-year-old was left bored and uninspired by the transfer ongoings, and took to Twitter to express his dissatisfaction, posting in Italian: ‘The girls on Sky Sport Calciomercato are certainly more interesting than the signings being made.’
The Italian channel run a similar relentless transfer deadline service of news and rumour throughout the day as viewed in the UK and Ireland on Sky Sports News HQ.
But while producers at the Isleworth base in west London kept viewers entertained with the inclusion of a new ‘Transfer Bin’, the contents of Gary Cotterill’s lunch and Mr Deadline Day himself Jim White, their friends in Italy had less to fall back on when the drama died down.
Laura Barth was one of the presenters preparing herself for a big evening of transfer reporting ahead of her time on air, with the model and actress writing: ‘Ready for tonight, watch the transfer market at 10pm on Sky Channel 200 #skycalciomercato.’
It is unknown whether Balotelli was referring to Miss Barth’s appearance on the show, but Daniella Matar – who is an Italian sports correspondent for the Associated Press in Milan – agreed with the striker.
Nice, who are level on points with Monaco at the top of Ligue 1 but second on goal difference, completed just one signing during the January window with Moroccan midfielder Mounir Obbadi signing on a free transfer from Lille.
Balotelli, who has played for both Milan during his career, has scored nine league goals in 11 appearances, with all of his strikes coming at the club’s Allianz Riviera stadium.