Eastlands manager set to seal Inter Milan forward deal.
Manchester City are “hopeful” of completing a deal to sign 19-year-old Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli.
BBC Sport understands that terms and a fee – reportedly around £24m – have yet to be agreed.
Balotelli, tipped to be the new star of the Italy national team, has scored 28 goals in 86 appearances for Inter since his debut in December 2007.
Inter president Massimo Moratti has already suggested he could be receptive to offers for the forward.
Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester United have also been linked with bids for Balotelli.
Should the young Italian opt to join City, he would become the Eastlands club’s fifth summer signing following the arrivals of Aleksander Kolarov, David Silva, Yaya Toure and Jerome Boateng.
However, Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raiola, has insisted it is not a foregone conclusion.
“Balotelli hasn’t signed anything with Manchester City and I doubt that anything will be agreed in the next few days,” Raiola said on Monday.
Earlier on Monday, City boss Roberto Mancini told Italian daily La Stampa: “I was the first to believe in him and I’m convinced about what he can give.
“Mario has two qualities that suit us: his talent and his age, because I want people able to build a cycle at Manchester City.
“That said we return to the problem of valuation that has to be just. I like the player and at certain conditions. That’s all.
“I think that in a couple of days certain situations will be clearer, but I can’t guarantee in what way.”
Balotelli is set to travel with European champions Inter to play pre-season friendlies in the United States, where one of the opponents will be his potential new employers City. (BBC Sport)
Roberto Mancini may well feel he is very well placed to help Mario Balotelli achieve his undoubted potential and perhaps a change of scenery is just what the Italian teenager needs. After a very troubling time at the San Siro it does seem he has run out of options at Inter Milan. Rafa Benitez seems more than ready to cash in on the talented forward.
After single handedly propping up all the major spending thus far in the transfer window the Eastlands side are ready to once again spend big. A fair few clubs were ready to sign the well built front man but it seems the previous relationship between the boss and the youngster may be key, that and a rather large wage packet but no doubt he would be excited by the other big names that Man City have assembled in last 18 months.