Mario Balotelli has proclaimed Manchester City's strike force to be the best in the world - and at the same time dismissed Wayne Rooney as the number one forward in the city.

Manager Roberto Mancini has already declared his intention to unite Balotelli with Carlos Tevez and new signing Edin Dzeko in a star-studded Blues attack, and the Italian feels such a formation would offer greater power than any comparable forward line on the planet.

"Our attack of Balotelli-Tevez-Dzeko is the best in the world," Balotelli told Extra Time. "We are the strongest. Better even than Barcelona and Real Madrid."

Certainly better than current Premier League leaders Manchester United, whose main striker has scored just three times this season.

"He (Rooney) is a very good player but not the best in Manchester," added Balotelli, the controversial star who also feels United fans admire him.

"Do United fans insult me? No, they stop me in the street and say: 'Mario, come to us',

"But I dream of beating them because I know how much the City fans care, they are wonderful with me."

Balotelli has been ordered to rest for a couple of weeks after which his present knee injury will be assessed.

It is one of the reasons why Mancini is reluctant to sanction the release of Emmanuel Adebayor, although reports in Spain have emerged claiming a loan deal will be completed with Real Madrid later this week.

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