Mario Balotelli is set to be sacrificed by AC Milan after the former Manchester City striker became the scapegoat for their Champions League failure.

And his availability will open the door to a return to the Premier League this summer.

The Italy forward came under attack in the Italian press after Milan's 4-1 defeat at Atletico Madrid last night which leaves them nothing to play for this season.

On-loan Adel Taarabt and Michael Essien will also be jettisoned.

Milan are set to miss out on any European football next season as they down in 10th place in Serie A.

Balotelli, brought back to Italy last January, has scored seven goals in 29 Champions League matches during his career - and only two in eight this season.