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Mancini optimistic of Tevez solution soon

The Argentine, who has not played for the Premier League leaders since refusing to warm up in a Champions League match at Bayern Munich in September, has been linked with Italian clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan.

Milan's pursuit appears to have hit a brick wall as City have ruled out a loan deal which is favoured by the Serie A club, while Inter President Massimo Moratti confirmed his club's interest in the player on Monday.

"I think maybe we can find a good solution in January... also because it is important for Carlos. Now it is three or four months that he hasn't played," Mancini told a news conference.

"I know that there is Inter maybe that is interested because I read the newspapers, and Milan the same but I don't know the last news."

Tevez was fined by City and suspended during an internal investigation, with Mancini subsequently offering him an olive branch if he apologised. He instead missed training and returned to his homeland without permission to shut the door on a return.

AC Milan have been vocal in their bid to acquire the striker, who was signed by City from Manchester United for 25 million pounds in July 2009, but they could be pipped at the post by rivals Inter.

"We don't do anything just for fun; if we do something it's because we think it could be a good deal," Moratti said on Inter's website.

"It all seems normal to me: we were interested in finding out how things stood [with Tevez], if there was any room for manoeuvre. We'll see if we're successful, if we can bring him here or not."