Inter mulling summer move for Balotelli

Former club Inter Milan could offer disgruntled striker Mario Balotelli an escape route from Manchester City, but are not prepared to consider the issue until the season is over.

The eccentric Italian has been at the centre of a number of controversies since his £24million move to Eastlands in 2010, included training ground bust-ups with Vincent Kompany and Micah Richards, as well as last week’s on-pitch spat with Aleksandar Kolarov during the 3-3 draw with Sunderland.

He has been linked with a move away from the Citizens this year, but Mancini has defended the player ahead of this weekend’s crucial clash with Arsenal.

Following the stalemate with the Black Cats on Saturday, a result which could prove pivotal in the title race, Mancini was highly critical of Balotelli, claiming that he was considering subbing the Italian after only five minutes.

Photos from the City training ground this week appeared to show an irate Mancini admonishing the temperamental striker leading to speculation regarding another possible spat between the Italian pairing.

And former club Inter have now been reported as a possible destination for the talented, but troubled Balotelli.

The club are aware they could probably re-sign the player for much less than they received for him two years ago, but are refusing to be drawn on the matter until the summer.

Asked about Balotelli, Marco Branca, speaking at a press conference to unveil new signing Freddy Guarín, said: "I don't want to be rude and I will respond briefly.

"Balotelli is not a topical interest issue. Today, we talk about Guarín and about the pleasure to have him among us.

"As for Mario, there will be time to speak about in one or two months".

With Argentina legend Diego Maradona urging Sergio Aguero to move back to Spain and with Carlos Tevez’s role at the club still unclear, that would leave Mancini with Edin Dzeko as the club’s only striker who hasn’t been linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium.

Josh Butler