Funding success, and finding it

first_imgSix years ago, when Isaac Kohlberg became Harvard’s senior associate provost and chief technology development officer, he began the process of restructuring and transforming Harvard’s technology transfer program into a dynamic model focused on proactive technology and business development, built around a new Office of Technology Development (OTD).No longer would Harvard’s scientists and engineers simply be expected to come to OTD seeking help patenting new discoveries. Instead, a new team of OTD staff members would embed itself within, and roam the halls of, the University’s Schools, exploring labs, engaging with researchers, and forging relationships with the faculty in an effort to identify potentially patentable inventions and emerging discoveries that hold commercial potential.But one thing that Kohlberg quickly discovered was that patenting discoveries wasn’t the only challenge. Even more daunting was propelling new inventions and discoveries off the laboratory shelves and into commercial development, so that they could be advanced to the point where they would be attractive candidates for partnering with industry, and therefore be of interest to biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and venture capitalists.“We had to find a way to get these discoveries and inventions across what has come to be known as ‘the valley of death,’ ” Kohlberg said recently, “the period in which they are still too basic and early to be of interest to industry, and money to develop them is virtually impossible to come by. We didn’t want to leave potentially lifesaving, world-changing discoveries languishing in the lab, wilting on the vine.”So four years ago, OTD launched the Technology Development Accelerator Fund, a $10 million revolving account, raised from Harvard alumni, including most notably the anchor donor, Len Blavatnik and the Blavatnik Family Foundation, to be used as a bridge across the “valley,” the development gap.  And the fund is proving to be just such a bridge.Since the fund’s founding, its money has been awarded and used to seed 33 projects, 25 of which have already been completed. Of those completed projects, a dozen have resulted in research collaborations with industry and new licensing agreements, with both existing and startup companies.“The Accelerator has enabled Harvard to invest in important research discoveries that have the potential to help create a better world,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “The fund has fostered an environment of entrepreneurship and innovation across the University as it has supported both the talent and the technologies that will build the future.”Jeffrey S. Flier, Harvard Medical School (HMS) dean, said the fund has had an enormous impact and goes a long way to foster and spur “innovation and helps HMS advance our therapeutic and translational vision.”Chris Mirabelli, managing director of the venture capital fund Healthcare Ventures, is one of the eight members of the Accelerator Fund’s advisory committee, which provides guidance on choosing those projects and technologies for funding that are most likely to become attractive candidates for further development and industry investment.“I think the Accelerator’s already a success,” Mirabelli said. “It’s changing some of the ways things get done at Harvard. The science is world class, and had always been geared toward developing insights into basic science. But usually there’s a gap as to where that science is, and where it needs to be” in bringing its benefits to the broader world. “A professor may think it’s ready for prime time, but there isn’t enough there to give it directionality, make a drug out of it, or make it clear how it would be used in a diagnostic device. Now there is a way to accomplish all that.”“The lifeblood of the biotech community here in Boston is being able to find discoveries that have” value to the medical community, Mirabelli added. “This helps develop things that are of value to the biotech industry, and of value to Harvard, that ultimately result in people being hired by biotech companies. And that benefits the local economy.”Another member of the advisory committee, Doug Melton, Xander University Professor, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and co-chair of the University’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, said he sees the Accelerator Fund as “providing the too-often-unavailable funds and advice that can propel an interesting finding into a real product. In its initial few years, it has already proven to be an important bridge in moving basic science to products, products that can help people.”One feature distinguishing the Accelerator Fund from similar programs at other universities is that it is managed by someone with high-level industry experience. Curtis Keith, the fund’s chief scientific officer, is a seasoned drug development specialist with a successful track record whom Harvard recruited from the biotech industry.The first university-based program of its kind in the United States that integrates professional management, an effective technology and business development program, and an independent advisory board, Accelerator-funded research projects have already leveraged $10 million in additional industry-sponsored research funding for Harvard — at a time when government funding has stagnated. That explains why Kohlberg “gets calls every two or three weeks from universities around the country that want information about how to start a program like this.”In the future, Kohlberg said, “We envision working more closely with Harvard Business School [HBS]. We may have HBS students and postgrads work on individual technologies, assisting us to formulate commercialization strategies and business plans, and we anticipate some may become startup CEOs. You could argue that our current business strategy has worked well,” he said, “but it’s possible that HBS will be able to help us at an even earlier stage, looking at which projects we should fund, and which are the most likely to get placed with industry.”OTD plans to launch an expanded Accelerator Fund soon, one that would be energized by larger-scale funding and a broader mandate than the original. In so doing, officials hope that HBS will play a large role and that additional innovation at Harvard, which might otherwise languish, can be supported and translated to benefit society.last_img read more

Nathan Lane & More Set for The Man Who Came to Dinner Benefit

first_img Star Files View Comments Tony winners Nathan Lane and Harriet Harris, Jean Smart and more members of the 2000 revival of The Man Who Came to Dinner will reunite this December for a benefit reading of the Kaufman and Hart comedy. The Roundabout Theatre Company 50th anniversary event, under the direction of Scott Ellis, will take place for one night only on December 7 at Studio 54.Lane reprises his role as Sheridan Whiteside, with Harris as his secretary Maggie and Smart as Lorraine Sheldon. Additional cast members from the 2000 production taking part are Stephen Derosa as Professor Metz, Byron Jennings as Beverly Carlton, Linda Stephens as Mrs. Stanley, Hank Stratton as Bert Jefferson, Mary Catherine Wright as Miss Preen, Julie Boyd as Sarah, Kit Flanagan as Mrs. Dexter, Mary Catherine Garrison as June Stanley, Julie Halston as Mrs. McCutcheon, Jeffrey Hayenga as John and Zach Shaffer as Richard. Additional cast members (it’s nearly a 30-person show) will be announced shortly.The play centers around Sheridan Whiteside, an eccentric critic who, after slipping on an icy doorstep, is confined to a wheelchair in the Stanley family’s Midwestern home. Anything that can go awry does as he turns their house into a parade of celebrities, criminals and penguins.The 2000 Roundabout revival was the inaugural production of the American Airlines Theatre. The production, which was directed by Jerry Zaks, earned Smart a Tony Award nomination.center_img Nathan Lanelast_img read more

FDA Authoritizes at-home testing kits

first_imgThe FDA announced on Tuesday that they have issued emergency authorization for the use of at home coronavirus diagnostic testing kits.The authorization was issued to LabCorp for their  Pixel by LabCorp Covid-19 home collection kits, which includes over 50 nasal swab test.“Throughout this pandemic we have been facilitating test development to ensure patients access to accurate diagnostics, which includes supporting the development of reliable and accurate at-home sample collection options,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said.Officials say the test will be available in most states in a couple of weeks but users will have to obtain a test through a doctor.The FDA also noted that the emergency authorization only applies to the LabCorp Covid-19 RT-PCR for at-home collection.last_img read more

A Friend Denied

first_imgBy Kathy MieleI walked into my son Alex’s room and saw that he was on his computer. “Can I ask you for a favor?” I asked.“Sure,” he said, never taking his eyes off his computer screen. “What is it?”“You know I’ve been saying for years that I’d never go on Facebook?” I began gathering dirty glasses and dishes that were stacked on his desk from the night before.“Yeah?” he looked at me skeptically.“Well, I’ve changed my mind,” I stated a bit sheepishly.Alex closed his laptop and looked directly at me. “Why would you want to go on it now?”“Because so many of my friends are on it and I feel like I’m missing out,” I explained.Alex looked at me for a minute. “If that’s what you want to do, go ahead,” he said but I could hear in his voice that he wasn’t thrilled about the whole idea.“Thanks,” I laughed. “But your permission wasn’t the favor I was looking for.”“What’s the favor then?”“I need your help putting my profile together,” I said. “You know how computer challenged I am!”Alex groaned.“Please!” I cried.“Fine,” he said as he got up to go to my computer.I quickly put his dirty dishes down and followed him into my room. “You’re going to do it for me now?” I asked.“We might as well get this over with.” He sighed as he sat down at my desk.I quickly took out a few pictures I’d tucked into my pocket. “Can you put this one in for my profile picture?” I handed him the first one. “I just need you to crop out the other person in the photo.”He took a quick look. “Sure I can do that.”“Great!” I handed him the next picture. “Can you also put this family photo of us in, too?”Alex looked at the photo of the four of us on our front porch. “Don’t tag me in this.” he said.“Are you serious?” I had to laugh. “I’m asking you to put the whole thing together for me. Do you really think I have any idea how to tag a picture?”Alex shrugged his shoulders. “You have a point there.”Over the next 20 minutes he asked me questions about how I wanted my profile to look. Once he had my pictures in place he pushed himself back from my desk. “You’re all set,” he said as he headed for his own room. “By the way,” he called over his shoulder. “Don’t friend me!”“Are you kidding?”“No, I’m serious.”“But all my friends have their kids as friends,” I whined.Alex stopped in the hallway and looked back at me. “So you’re telling me that if all your friends jumped off a bridge you’d have to too?”I was speechless! I suddenly realized that one of my old sayings that I’d used on both my boys had come back to haunt me! Now I was the one who felt like a little kid.“I didn’t think so.” Alex said as he smiled and headed back to his room.last_img read more

Glacier Gym Club host Judges Cup

first_imgCompetition includes provincial level athletes and Junior Olympians.Glacier Club is expected to enter as many as 90 competitors.Glacier athletes travel to Coeur d’Alene for the Great West Gym Fest before concluding the month of February at the BC Winter Games in Penticton.Other events are slated for Cranbrook, Langley, Castlegar and Kimberley.Nelson is also host for the Glacier Invitational Zone Championships April 30 to May 1. The Glacier Gymnastics Club is rolling out the red carpet for the Judges Cup this weekend at the Civic Centre facility.The Judges Cup, attracting more than 160 athletes from Trail, Castlegar, Kimberley, Cranbrook and host Nelson, is the first of many competitions for the Glacier gymnasts as the club begins its competitive season.The competition goes Saturday, running all day.last_img read more

League Wide: Million Dollar Assistants and the Future of the Big 12

first_img“I don’t disagree with the whole thought that it’s in our interest that the Big 12 succeed,” Boren said before telling reporters how famously OU gets along with conference rivals Oklahoma State and Texas. “So, no, we’re not desperate to go anywhere else … While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. 10Horned Frogs Let’s take a look at some news around the league from this week. Million-Dollar MenTexas and Oklahoma became the first Big 12 schools to pay coordinators $1m plus this week.Just a day after Texas formally approved a record-setting $1 million annual salary for defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, Oklahoma countered Thursday with a contract making offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley the highest-paid assistant in the Big 12 and one of the tops in the country.Riley will be paid $1.3 million per season in a new three-year deal. [Austin American-Statesman]Two things stick out here, first: its interesting to see Texas finally start throwing their wallet around a little bit.Now, paying top-dollar for the former Houston defensive coordinator? Eh, not that splashy. It’d be more impressive to see them throw a stack of bills taller than the Texas bell tower at the Texas A&M defensive coordinator (or poach from someone).The Riley extension was a well-done, big boy move. The Sooners pay a premium and basically ensure that Riley will only leave for a better than average head coaching job.Stoops mentioned it’s been in the works for months, the timing feels a little responsive to their rival’s big payout to an assistant. Lord knows they’ve been a bit chippier than usual lately.Railroad from Raider LandIt’s hard to put a finger on what’s going on in Lubbock but a pair of receivers have left over the last few weeks.Texas Tech receiver Tony Brown announced he plans to leave Lubbock and transfer from Texas Tech via Twitter on Thursday afternoon.Brown is the second receiver to announce an intent to transfer after leading receiver from last year Jonathan Giles said he was leaving the program on April 28. [SportsDay]More troubling, a Texas Tech All-Transfer team is in the making. “I would just say that we’re, at this point in time, hoping the Big 12 will improve and succeed.” [TulsaWorld] Rebuilding the JayhawksForget Texas, apparently Kansas may be getting (a twinge) of buzz.I’m willing to make such a — cough — bold, risky statement based on the simple fact that, for the first time in quite a while, KU has options.Beaty has mined the transfer market for talent, and at least a few of his recent five-year recruits have shown promise. The result: some loose approximation of depth and position battles, particularly on an offense that has been destitute for years. [SBNation]We’ll spare you the details but a couple of Bama transfers on offense (wide receiver and tackle) to go with the Texas A&M transfer that followed David Beatty in Doug Meacham’s offense could mean something.They’ve had (somewhat) stingy defenses over the last few years but anemic offenses plagued hungry Kansas squads.center_img Gary Patterson (3): Patterson is in a similar situation as Dantonio. We all believe he’s a great coach, but he’s coming off a sub-par season. That recency bias has an effect on where he stands in these rankings, but his history suggests that he’s capable of another huge season with the Horned Frogs. [CBS Sports] In a perfect world: Texas Tech would be starting: Mayfield, Dauphine, Giles, Fehoko, Mitchell & Bethel in 2017. #WreckEm— Ben Rosas (@Benjamin_Rosas) May 11, 2017That’s a two-time Heisman finalist, a Biletnikoff finalist and four four-star recruits. When a coach is under pressure (as Kliff Kingsbury undeniably is), recruiting takes a toll. But internal exits?Could be anything. Generally it’s over playing time or discipline. Either way, impact players leaving heading into year five isn’t good.KingmakersIn CBS’ most recent ranking of Power Five coaches, the Big 12 found four within the top twelve. One was interesting. Not quite the reassurance Big 12 fans are looking for from one of their bell cows.The article looks at how the realignment will fire up a bit when the Big Ten’s media contracts expire in the early 2020’s. Concerning OU’s landing spot, here’s a good question.Key question: Oklahoma pres David Boren is 76. Will he hold the reins in 3-5 years, when/if (by his estimation, too) realignment cranks up?— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) May 12, 2017 Patterson threw the Frogs on his shoulders and carried them into the Big 12, securing the financial viability of the program for the immediate future.  But No. 10 in the country?Either way, Stoops was at sixth, Snyder at ninth, Patterson at tenth and Gundy rounded off the group at twelfth. It’s been said but this guys do it as well as anybody with very little NFL talent.No Place Like (A New) HomeOU and Texas are the Big 12’s trophy brands. Much ado is being made this off season about one of those school’s options.last_img read more

The State of Oklahoma State: An Update on Offensive Cowboys Heading into Summer

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Oklahoma State rides into summer on a wave of optimism. A loaded offense returns eight starters and the front seven, which was lauded last season for its depth and talent, could anchor OSU once again in 2017.Mason Rudolph has a slew of freak athletes to throw the ball to and the running game is in the midst of a renaissance. If the defense is as good as Mike Gundy thinks big things could be on the horizon for Oklahoma State.Can the Cowboys get over that schooner-sized hurdle for their second Big 12 title? Let’s take a look at the offensive side of the roster both in the present day and what it will look like in future years (note: this includes scholarship players as well as walk-ons).*Tyler Moore to sit 2017 due to NCAA transfer rules.QuarterbackMason Rudolph is a darkhorse Heisman candidate poised to break every QB record on OSU’s books. Behind him is a redshirt junior in Taylor Cornelius who should be the de facto No. 2. Mike Gundy also insinuated that either Keondre Wudtee or John Kolar may feature role in short-yardage situations, a la J.W. Walsh.Rudolph is the key. If anyone else is thrust into a major role the Cowboys prospects suffer greatly. If he plays, they have a chance to win each game on their schedule. There’s not a lot of teams who have that luxury.The future looks bright, too, with Wudtee to go along with Jelani Woods and Spencer Sanders. The Cowboys are feeling good about their prospects at QB for years to come.Running BackJustice Hill should be healed up from his offseason shoulder surgery in time for full participation in fall camp. That’s the good news. Behind Hill are a lot of question marks. The running back group is young and seemingly talented but Jeff Carr is the only other back with any experience.Either of the two incoming freshmen, Chuba Hubbard and J.D. King could make a push for serious reps if a defined hierarchy is not present heading into fall camp. Hubbard has world-class speed and King is a bigger, powerful runner who was probably a little under recruited early because he played for a smaller school. He already has D-I size and rushed for over 5,000 yards during his high school career.OSU is still trying to fill in this spot behind them for the future.Wide ReceiverI was tempted just to fill this section with fire emojis.The Cowboys might have the most talented wide receiver corps in the nation. That’s a real thing. We talk about it so much that it may lose its luster. But think about this. Of returning Big 12 receivers, James Washington and Jalen McCleskey were ranked first and fifth respectively in receiving yards a year ago.Add in Marcell Ateman, who missed last year due to injury, who was a top-10 receiver in the Big 12 with 766 yards and five scores in 2015. Former LSU-transfer Tyron Johnson is apparently about to redefine the position and then you have several young freaks, including the Tylan Wallace who is the highest rated receiver prospect at OSU since Dez.Toss C.J. Moore in the mix, and this is pretty easily OSU’s deepest spot not only now but for years to come. It’s also unclear what position Jaelyn Nolan will play as he’s a QB in high school but could be placed anywhere on a college roster.Cowboy BackThe hybrid tight end/fullback group is undergoing significant turnover as it lost two of its pioneers in Blake Jarwin and Zac Veatch. Keenen Brown brings a big-play ability in the passing game and Britton Abbott may fill more of the blocking role. Incoming transfer fullback, Sione Finefeuiaki, will also vie for reps.OSU has shown a dedication to this position by continuing to recruit towards it. Although this is probably the most flexible spot in terms of being able to move players elsewhere on the roster, there is a clear emphasis on continuing to develop cowboy backs.Offensive LineRight tackle, Zachary Crabtree, has seen four offensive line coaches during his career at OSU. It’s no wonder the Cowboys have struggled to field a consistent front. The Cowboys improved last year in run blocking and sacks allowed but still were dead last in the conference.But with a seeming home run hire in Josh Henson leading the way, the Cowboys seem to be headed in the right direction. He’s already gained four more commits than total high school signees from last year’s class — four.That spot for incoming freshmen is as bare as the one next to it is full.last_img read more

How One Position Change Could Make All the Difference for Oklahoma State

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Ask any OSU fan what most excites them about this coming fall and chances are you’ll get answers regarding the offense. Mason Rudolph’s Heisman hopes. The ridiculously deep and talented receiver pool. Will Justice have its day?!But in order for Mike Gundy to take his place on the recently-vacated Big 12 mountaintop, it’s the defense that is going to have take a step forward in 2017. That defense, self-labeled with the “We’re Takin’ It Back” moniker has always seen its effectiveness directly tied to its ability to dispossess the opposition.Mike Gundy recognized that fact when discussing the similarities between his upcoming squad and the one he coached to a Fiesta Bowl win in 2011.AdChoices广告“The good news is that we may be better on defense than we were then,” Gundy told media members in early spring “but those teams were really good at forcing turnovers which allowed us to get more opportunities so we could outscore you.“A lot of what we do in this league has come down to that anyways. The strategy that we talk about, based on what our personnel is and what we think we can do in all three phases.“There are a lot of similarities. I hope it turns out that way.”While scheme and a calculated emphasis on forcing turnovers in practice definitely helps, the best of Gundy’s defenses have featured at least one dynamic playmaker in the secondary.The 2008, 2009 and 2010 teams had opportunists like Perrish Cox and Andrew McGee. The Cowboys finished in the top 15 nationally in interceptions each of those three years. In 2011, Justin Gilbert and Brodrick Brown led the Cowboys to a No. 2 finish nationally in picks.Since then, it’s been a seesaw of sorts. OSU was 65th in interceptions in 2012, 55th in 2014 and 35th in 2016. In the odd-numbered years they’ve fared drastically better. No. 2 in 2011. No. 3 in 2013 and No. 14 in 2015. Those seasons’ results corresponded to win totals of 12, 10 and 10, while the Cowboys’ dip in turnovers resulted in seasons of eight, seven and 10 wins during the even-numbered years.If the recent trend is anything other than coincidence, Oklahoma State should be looking at another top-15 finish in picks. And if that’s the case, who will that playmaker be?There’s Adrian Baker, the grad transfer from Clemson. Or possibly one of the young corners that Gundy and Co. seem to like so far. But the strongest candidate to be the lead ball hawk has been on campus for four years.Ramon Richards has settled nicely into his new role as a full-time safety. It’s a move which puzzled many when Mike Gundy announced it this past spring, especially since Richards was the only cornerback on the roster (at the time) with any starting experience.But this is not the first time Richards has undergone a position swap. He played defensive back occasionally during his last two years of high school but Richards was known as a state champion quarterback.After being thrown into a starting corner role as a true freshman, Richards took his lumps. But over his three seasons in orange, he’s gone from a reckless gambler who could follow up any huge play with a blown one, to a more consistent defender and a vocal and spirited leader of the Cowboy defense.But Mike Gundy knows that some of that recklessness will never leave Richards. And that’s what he’s counting on.“My personal opinion, I’m not a defensive guy,” Gundy admitted during his opening spring press conference “but he’s [Richards] better out there roaming around than he is locked into a certain area.”Gundy talks about Ramon like that middle child who sometimes makes you want to pull out part of your mullet but that you also love just a little more than the rest.“He’s like one of those people that you work with that you’re talking to and they never look at you because they’re thinking about something else and working over here on something,” Gundy said. “That’s how Ramon is, so he’s better roaming around and freelancing and seeing what’s going on out there.”And Ramon has little trepidation about the change. He’s confident in his instincts. Richards has either led the team or shared in the lead in interceptions the last three seasons. He also enters 2017 as the active career leader among Big 12 players.“It’s been great. It’s been amazing,” Richards said through his signature smile. “I love the position and I’m excited for the potential that I have. For one, ball skills. I’ve got my hands on a lot of balls. I got to make sure that I catch them. Two, bringing the young guys up and letting them know that they are not just here to fill in. They are here to make plays and go a step further.”As Gundy and Richards enter their last fall together, expectations couldn’t be higher. The dynamic duo of Rudolph and Washington have decided to return for their final years. The schedule sets up nicely as the Cowboys welcome the Big 12’s big boys to Stillwater. It’s an odd year(!) If Gundy’s Cowboys are going to reach their potential in 2017, believe that Ramon Richards will be a big part of it.last_img read more

Balotelli invites offers from Juventus & Napoli

first_imgTransfers Balotelli invites offers from Juventus and Napoli as he plots Serie A homecoming Chris Burton 02:06 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mario Balotelli Nice Lokomotiv Moscou UEFA Europa League 15022018 Gettyimages Transfers Juventus Napoli Nice Ligue 1 Serie A Mario Balotelli The enigmatic Italian frontman is running down his contract at Nice and has opened himself up to a summer switch back to his roots as a free agent Mario Balotelli is planning to head back to Italy as a free agent and has invited offers from Serie A title hopefuls Juventus and Napoli.The enigmatic frontman is running down his contract at Nice and is expected to have several options to consider at the end of the season.Balotelli has rebuilt his reputation in France following forgettable stints at AC Milan and Liverpool, with 39 goals netted across two seasons. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp He is now attracting admiring glances from leading clubs once more, with the 27-year-old intending to step back up the football pyramid by securing a return to his roots in Italy.“My agent Mino Raiola is taking care of my future. All I know is that I have matured and I am ready to come back to Italy,” Balotelli told Rai Sport show La Domenica Sportiva.“I think it’d be very difficult to come to Milan, as it would be the third time, but Juventus and Napoli are two teams that I like.”Raiola admits to having already spoken with those in Turin and Naples about a player he believes would demand a nine-figure transfer fee on the open market.The so-called ‘super agent’ told Rai Sport: “He is worth €100m, but he is a free agent so he is a bargain.”I’m already negotiating with many teams in England and Italy. I talked with Juventus, Roma, Napoli, Inter.”Making a decision on his next move can wait until the summer, with Balotelli having more immediate targets to hit in the present.He has forced his way back into contention for an international recall, with interim Italy coach Luigi Di Biagio having hinted that the former Manchester City and Inter striker could figure in his plans for upcoming friendlies against Argentina and England.Balotelli added on his Azzurri ambition: “Last season [Gian Piero] Ventura came to Nice before the game with PSG. We had a long talk, but I realised straight away that he wasn’t ever going to call me up for his team.“I deserved to be called up, though. Now he is no longer on the bench and I am ready to come back.”last_img read more