El Shaarawy flattered by Man City and Real talk

Stephan El Shaarawy is more than happy to remain a Milan player, despite speculation linking him with a move away.

Both Manchester City and Real Madrid were tipped to bid for the Italian international, who has scored 18 goals for the San Siro side since arriving in 2011.

A move to either the Etihad Stadium or Santiago Bernabeu failed to materialise, as City boss Manuel Pellegrini added Sevilla duo Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas to his ranks while Madrid brought in Gareth Bale for a world record fee.

Speaking exclusively in the October 2013 issue of FourFourTwo, out now, the talented 20-year-old admits he is flattered by the pair's interest.

"I am a Milan fan and Milan is my home. I was very happy that Manchester City and Real Madrid wanted to sign me, but I want to stay where I am," he says.

"This is a big club that aims very high, and I feel like I am a part of it now. The manager, the players, the fans - they have all been very supportive."

El Shaarawy v Balotelli

El Shaarawy: 23/09/12 - 03/02/13

26 games, 18 goals

Balotelli: Since 03/02/13

17 games, 14 goals

El Shaarawy: Since 03/02/13

21 games, 2 goals

It has been claimed the youngster cannot co-exist in the same attack as compatriot Mario Balotelli, who opened his Serie A account for the season in a 3-1 victory against Cagliari last weekend.

Balotelli has bagged 14 goals since joining the Rossoneri from Manchester City at the turn of the year, while El Shaarawy's goals have dried up. He notched 18 times for Milan last season prior to 'Super Mario' signing, but Il Faraone (The Pharoah) has just two goals to his name since.

Nevertheless, the former Genoa winger believes the pair compliment each other, even if he is no longer netting as regularly.

"I actually think he makes me better, being very valuable as a player himself. We play well together, we pass the ball to each other - we have a great chemistry.

"I really think we make a great attacking duo. We get along very well, on and off the field, and I think everyone will see that this season."

Read the full interview with Stephan El Shaarawy in the October 2013 issue of FourFourTwo, which also tells the inside story of Milan 88 with Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard. The greatest club side of all time is revealed, plus read about the power battle for Boca's ultras and Scotland's big grudge match - Partick Thistle vs Dundee United! Subscribe in print or for iPad now.