Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed that Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli is on his transfer shortlist this summer.
Mancini has admitted that the powerful forward is one of his top targets, but admits that he will only make his move for the player if the San Siro club are willing to sell.
"We are always interested in good players. If Inter decide to sell (Balotelli), we will be there," the Eastlands chief told Il Giornale.
Mancini’s admiration for the forward is well-known, having managed Balotelli during his time at Inter Milan.
Earlier this week the player’s agent claimed that the Blues had made a bid for the youngster, but negotiations were some way off the mark.
The 19-year-old has three years left on his current deal in Italy, but came under criticism from former-manager Jose Mourinho last season for his attitude.
As a result the Italian international was dropped for a lengthy period of time by Mourinho, but Mancini has insisted that Balotelli’s abilities on the football pitch are his sole interest.
"I have no problems," he said. "The most important thing is that they are good, so that they go on the pitch and play well."
New Inter Milan manager Rafa Benitez may be unwilling to allow Balotelli to join Manchester City without giving him a fair chance of his own in the team, but a substantial offer from the Blues may tempt the former Liverpool man into selling.
With Mourinho now departed for Real Madrid, the highly-rated striker may look to remain at the San Siro for now to await his fate under Benitez.
A chance to rejoin his old manager at Eastlands may prove too tempting however, should the Blues decide to persue the transfer further.
By Joe Brewincomments