Transfer Talk: Inter offer hope to Manchester clubs over Balotelli deal

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The Independent Football

The Internazionale president, Massimo Moratti, has hinted that a deal may be on the cards to sell 19-year-old striker Mario Balotelli if a club makes the right offer. Speaking just hours after the sporting director, Marco Branca, had given assurances that Balotelli was not for sale, Moratti insinuated that, while a transfer would not be ideal, they would be willing to sell the Italian Under-21 international to one of the Manchester teams he has been linked to. "I believe they are both serious clubs that will evaluate what the right transfer market value is for them," Moratti said. "It will be up to us then to decide if that value is the same also for us."

Barcelona's players may have been begging Cesc Fabregas to join them all summer, and even draped him in a Barça shirt earlier this week, but now it appears the saga may be finally drawing to a close as one of them has conceded the deal may not happen. The midfielder Sergio Busquets admitted: "The club have to respect that he is owned by another club, that he is an Arsenal player and, for the time being, there's nothing that can be done."

Stories linking the Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano with a move to Inter have also been fuelled by players weighing in to pass judgement on prospective team-mates. After the 26-year-old Argentine's agent sparked interest in a possible move to San Siro and Branca refused to rule it out, the club captain, Javier Zanetti, decided that it was time to offer his own opinion on the matter. "He's a great player who wins back a lot of balls," he said. "He would be well suited to Inter."


Artur Boruc has completed his move to Fiorentina from Celtic. The 30-year-old signed a two-year deal after leaving Parkhead and will be replaced at Celtic by the Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska in the coming season.


The club have accepted a £5m offer from Fiorentina for the 21-year-old Argentine full-back Emiliano Insua. New manager Roy Hodgson is reportedly looking to bring in Wigan's Honduran left-back Maynor Figueroa to fill the vacant position.

Wigan Athletic

The Omani goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi has moved to Wigan from Bolton on a season-long loan. "We are delighted to welcome him on board," said the Latics' coach, Roberto Martinez. Al-Habsi, 28, will provide cover for Chris Kirkland.