ROBERTO Mancini has admitted Mario Balotelli's departure could harm Manchester City's title hopes but believes the move to AC Milan is what the forward needs.
The 22-year-old Italian will today have a medical with the Serie A giants as he prepares to return to his homeland after two and a half years in the north west.
The move will cost Milan around £20million and Mancini is aware of the adverse affect it could have on his side's chances of retaining the title.
"It is difficult because I lost one important striker and that could be important in the next 14 games," Mancini said.
"But it is important for Mario - to be back in Italy, back with his family and to play for Milan.
"Milan started to talk to Manchester City in the last two days and they are very close.
"This is for Mario because we love Mario and he deserves to have this chance."