AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi says his "rotten apple" comment about Mario Balotelli was a negotiating strategy with Manchester City.

Berlusconi insists it was just part of transfer tactics.

"It was a strategy, advised by Adriano Galliani, to ensure the price-tag did not go up," insisted Berlusconi.

"Today I spoke highly of Bojan Krkic and Galliani kicked me under the table! He's right to keep an eye on these things."