AC Milan have moved to dismiss speculation that highly-rated forward Stephan El Shaarawy will be moving to Manchester City as part of a swap deal with Mario Balotelli.
The Serie ‘A’ outfit are long-term admirers of the mercurial Citizens striker, according to Sky Sports, and have admitted in the past that they would be willing to bring the Italian back to the San Siro.
However, an exchange agreement for the former Inter Milan star is out of the question, according to club vice-president Adriano Galliani, who insists that selling players is not on the agenda in January.
"There will not be any exchange. El Shaarawy will remain at Milan. We plan to keep our best players and to try and find cover for Nigel de Jong (who will miss the remainder of the season with an Achilles injury)," he’s quoted as saying on Sky Sports.
El Shaarawy’s stock has risen dramatically with the Rossoneri after signing from Genoa in the summer of 2011. His form has since earned three international appearances for the Azzurri.
Balotelli, meanwhile, remains a bit-part player at the Etihad Stadium, getting a rare start in the Manchester derby at the weekend before being substituted by manager Roberto Mancini.
However, his time at City won’t be coming to an end as part of a deal for El Shaarawy, who will look to continue impressing under manager Massimiliano Allegri.