AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani has admitted his club stand little chance of taking Mario Balotelli back to the San Siro, because he is too expensive.
Balotelli has been regularly linked with a move back to his homeland since his switch to the Premier League in 2010.
Both Milan clubs have been repeatedly linked with a move for the Manchester City forward since the end of last season, when the Italian appeared on the brink of leaving the Etihad Stadium.
Citizens boss Roberto Mancini declared his career at City over after he was sent off in the 1-0 defeat against Arsenal last season – a result which seemingly put paid to their title hopes before their stunning last-gasp turnaround.
Since then Mancini’s stance with Balotelli has softened and he has featured for Manchester City this season, although he has fallen down the pecking order behind the likes of Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko.
Manchester City have been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao in the January transfer window, something which could spell trouble for one of the Citizens current strikers.
Reports in Spain have also suggested City could be lining up a move for Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente, with either Balotelli or Dzeko heading for the exit at the Etihad Stadium.
The Man City forward scored last night in Italy’s 3 – 1 win over Denmark at the San Siro, and speaking after the game Galliani admitted it is unlikely he will be seen in the famous old stadium again any time soon.
“Tonight I saw a good Italy,” he told Rai Sport.
"Balotelli is a player I like a lot, but some players are unreachable for Italian clubs. They cost too much and earn too much for us."