Football

Mancini may finalise Balotelli move

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Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has hinted that the protracted transfer of Mario Balotelli from Inter Milan could be due to the teenage striker's over-inflated price-tag but believes everything will be resolved in the next 48 hours.

Balotelli has long been linked with a move to City and reports in Italy suggest the Barclays Premier League club have agreed a fee for the 19-year-old, who Inter claimed they would not sell for less than 35million euros.

"There is the money to buy anyone but not to pay them a lot as some people are saying," Mancini said in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa. "That's in general terms. If someone ups the price of a player by 40 or 50% convinced that Manchester City will take them anyway, they've calculated wrong."

He added: "He (Balotelli) is one of the four or five strikers that interest us.

"I was the first to believe in him and I'm convinced about what he can give. Mario has two qualities that suit us: his talent and his age, because I want people able to build a cycle at Manchester City.

"That said we return to the problem of valuation that has to be just. I like the player and at certain conditions. That's all. I think that in a couple of days certain situations will be clearer, but I can't guarantee in what way."

Jerome Boateng, Aleksandar Kolarov, Yaya Toure and David Silva have already joined City this summer but Mancini's recruitment drive is far from over.

Among the players City have been linked with are Fernando Torres, Edin Dzeko, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Diego Forlan, though Mancini now appears to have ruled out a bid for the Uruguay striker who won the Golden Ball award for the best player at the World Cup.

"Those that I am interested in are those that the newspapers are saying apart from Forlan," continued Mancini. "He's formidable and I was in love with him when he played at Villarreal four or five years ago.

"I would have taken him to Inter. Today instead I am looking for younger players."

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Topics:
Football
Manchester City
Premier League
Fernando Torres

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