Roberto Mancini has confirmed Manchester City rejected the opportunity to sell Mario Balotelli during the summer.
The 21-year-old striker endured a mixed first season in England following his move fro Inter Milan in 2010 and was offered the chance to return to Italy during the most recent transfer window.
However, City rebuffed bids from Serie A - a decision which has paid clear dividends so far this season.
Balotelli has netted six times in eight games for City this term; including a brace in the humiliation of Manchester United nine days ago.
But, despite City dismissing offers for Balotelli, City boss Mancini expects the Italian forward to return to his homeland at some point in the future.
"Sooner or later Balotelli will go back to Italy," Mancini told the Corriere della Sera on Tuesday. "That is for sure.
"However, it won't happen for a few more years and it will do him good to remain at Manchester City for the time being.
"We did receive various offers for him from Italian clubs over the summer, but we don't sell anybody here."