Balotelli not going to West Ham say Inter

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The Independent Online

Inter Milan are adamant teenage striker Mario Balotelli will not leave the club in this month's transfer window.

The 18-year-old is reportedly a target of West Ham, but Inter assistant coach Giuseppe Baresi told the club's website the player is going nowhere.

"He is an Inter player and will remain so," Baresi said.

Balotelli, an Italy Under-21 international, has also been linked with a loan move in order to gain more first-team experience.

He has made 14 appearances for the Serie A leaders this season.

West Ham's technical director, Gianluca Nani, insists the Premier League club have had no contact with Balotelli - a player Hammers manager Gianfranco Zola knows well from his days as assistant Italy Under-21 coach.

"I have never talked to Balotelli," Nani told Sky Italia. "I don't even know what his voice sounds like.

"We are happy like this, and Inter have never called me to complain."

Balotelli has been left out of Inter's squad to face Catania tonight for "disciplinary reasons", according to coach Jose Mourinho.

Reports suggest the teenager was originally included but, upon finding out he was set to spend the entire 90 minutes either on the bench or in the stands, refused to travel.

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