Man City’s Mancini: No plans for Ibrahimović and Balotelli stays
Roberto Mancini dismisses reports linking Zlatan Ibrahimović to Manchester City and insists Mario Balotelli is staying at the club
Roberto Mancini has dismissed reports linking Manchester City with a move for AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimović – and has insisted Mario Balotelli will be staying at Eastlands.
The 47-year-old, who has guided City to their first top-flight crown in 44 years, has already been linked with moves for a numbers of players, including the Sweden international.
But Mancini, who signed Ibrahimović at his old club Internazionale, revealed he has yet to set any targets for the imminent transfer window and ruled out a possible return to Serie A for Balotelli.
The City boss had previously stated the Italy international would not play another game this season following his sending off at Arsenal but Balotelli came on as a late substitute in the 3-2 victory over Queens Park Rangers.
“Ibra is a great player but I don’t think Milan want to sell him,” Mancini told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I’m going to be honest, we haven’t looked at the market yet. In the last five weeks our only focus has been the league.
“Mario has been very clear and I reiterate: Balotelli will remain at Manchester 101 per cent.”
Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli selected his preliminary 32-man squad for Euro 2012 on Sunday which included City’s 21-year-old striker, who has seven caps.
Mancini described the former Inter star as Italy’s “best striker” and backed Balotelli to have a successful tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
“I am confident he will have a great European championship,” Mancini added.
“I hope Mario will be the leader of the national team because he is the best Italian striker.
“He just needs to make his brain work. That is his only problem.”