AC Milan have added to speculation they are preparing a bid for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, after the Italian giants' manager Massimiliano Allegri hinted at a January move.

Sky Sports reports how the former Inter Milan star's future has been shrouded in doubt, having started just one of City's last eight matches in all competitions.

Balotelli's relationship with Roberto Mancini is constantly under the microscope, with rumours suggesting the Citizens boss' patience with the £24million man is finally starting to run out.

Milan could be ready to offer the Italy international an escape route from the Etihad Stadium, with a return to the San Siro a possibility when the transfer window reopens in the New Year.

"He is an important player with extraordinary physical and technical qualities," praised Allegri prior to last night's Champions League defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. "I believe, however, given his qualities, he threw away a few years of his career."

The Serie A coach also intimated that Stephan El Shaarawy and Balotelli would make a lethal attacking combination for Milan.

"I think they have done good things with the Italian national team," he added. "But I want to talk about AC Milan and the players I have. Then, in January, we will see what happens."

Club president Silvio Berlusconi also suggested a move for the 22-year-old is not just a fantasy for the Rossoneri, hinting that there could be some transfer activity in January.

"No, it's not a dream. I never dream," he told Sky Sport Italia.

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