Mancini targets £26m Balotelli replacement

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Manchester City want to sign AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic to replace Mario Balotelli, reports The Daily Star.

The 20-year-old has had a tempestuous start to his City career, having been recently sent-off in his sides Europa League tie with Dynamo Kiev, the second time he's been dismissed this season.

Balotelli was fined two-weeks wages for the sending off, not the first time he's been involved in controversy after off-the-field bust-ups with Roberto Mancini and teammate Jerome Boateng, leaving the City boss reportedly looking for a replacement.

Ibrahimovic played under the Italian manager during his spell at Inter Milan before he moved to Barcelona and then AC Milan, where he's scored 14 goals in 25 games for the Rossoneri this season.


Having won titles in three different divisions, the Swedish striker would bring the winning experience that few at Eastlands posses, the biggest shortcoming of Mancini multi-talented squad.

The 29-year-old would also provide a welcome addition to a forward line that includes the miss firing Edin Dzeko and the unsettled Carlos Tevez, whose future at the club, despite signing a new contract, is still uncertain.

A stumbling block might be whether City can qualify for the Champions League for next season, a stage Ibrahimovic would surely demand if he's to move from Milan, where he's set to win his fifth domestic title in six seasons.

The Italian side have the option to buy Ibrahimovic, who is on loan from the Nou Camp, for £26 million in the summer, but City's wealth and their keenness to replace their hothead striker, means Mancini won't give up in their pursuit.

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Manchester City
Premier League
Mario Balotelli

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