AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato could be offered to Manchester City in a shock swap deal for Italy international Mario Balotelli, according to talkSPORT.

Pato has been plagued by injury since moving to the Serie 'A' side in 2007, but the Brazilian international striker has an exceptional goalscoring record, and Manchester City are reportedly interested.

When he does manage to get on the pitch, he's often a lethal finisher, with 51 goals in 117 league games for the Italian giants.

And Roberto Mancini could be convinced to ditch the misfiring Mario Balotelli for a chance to sign Pato. The Manchester City boss has dropped the Italy star ever since their draw against West Ham at the start of November, and Balotelli was not even in the squad to face Aston Villa last weekend, or Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday.

And Pato's agent has suggested he could be set to quit the San Siro, sparking speculation that a swap deal could be negotiated for January.

Pato's representative Gilmar Veloz told TuttoMercato: "We want to understand and properly evaluate the situation with Milan.

"I'll talk to Alexandre and the club then we shall see what to do.

"Could Pato leave Milan? I do not know, we'll talk after Tuesday when everything will be clear."

Balotelli has been linked with a return to Italy, after a series of high-profile controversies in England.

The former-Inter Milan forward is highly regarded by the Manchester City hierarchy, but his off-the-field indiscretions may make him dispensable, especially with Edin Dzeko, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero ahead of him in the City pecking order.

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