Manchester City ready to finalise Balotelli transfer
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has hinted that the protracted transfer of Mario Balotelli from Inter Milan could be due to the teenage striker's over-inflated price-tag but believes everything will be resolved in the next 48 hours.
Balotelli has long been linked with a move to City and reports in Italy today suggest the Barclays Premier League club have agreed a fee for the 19-year-old, who Inter claimed they would not sell for less than 35million euros.
Mancini is keen to be reunited with Balotelli, who he snapped up as Inter coach in 2006, but insists they will not pay over the odds for anybody.
"There is the money to buy anyone but not to pay them a lot as some people are saying," Mancini said in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa.
"That's in general terms. If someone ups the price of a player by 40 or 50% convinced that Manchester City will take them anyway, they've calculated wrong.
"He (Balotelli) is one of the four or five strikers that interest us.
"I was the first to believe in him and I'm convinced about what he can give. Mario has two qualities that suit us: his talent and his age, because I want people able to build a cycle at Manchester City.
"That said we return to the problem of valuation that has to be just. I like the player and at certain conditions. That's all.
"I think that in a couple of days certain situations will be clearer, but I can't guarantee in what way."
Jerome Boateng, Aleksandar Kolarov, Yaya Toure and David Silva have already joined City this summer but Mancini's recruitment drive is far from over.
Among the players City have been linked with are Fernando Torres, Edin Dzeko, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Diego Forlan, though Mancini now appears to have ruled out a bid for the Uruguay striker who won the Golden Ball award for the best player at the World Cup.
"Those that I am interested in are those that the newspapers are saying apart from Forlan," continued Mancini.
"He's formidable and I was in love with him when he played at Villarreal four or five years ago.
"I would have taken him to Inter. Today instead I am looking for younger players."
There are not many clubs who can afford to match City's spending powers, especially in the current economic crisis.
However, Mancini insists his Premier League counterparts have nothing to be jealous about.
"If at Manchester City we think we have to spend, it's only because we have a lot to change," he added.
"I could be jealous of colleagues that already have their squad ready."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista sent to Paris to speed up move; Luis Suarez bid planned; Gunners eye Daniele Rugani
Chelsea vs Liverpool match report: Branislav Ivanovic seals classic semi-final with extra-time header to send Blues to Wembley
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Andy Murray vs Tomas Berydch: Murray cool over reunion with coach Dani Vallverdu at the Australian Open
Transfer news live: Gabriel Paulista to Arsenal CONFIRMED; Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea; Liverpool close in on £14m Ezequiel Lavezzi
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures