'Furious' Mancini set to loan out Balotelli to AC Milan in January
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has run out of patience with Mario Balotelli after striker's disastrous display in Sunday's defeat to Manchester United, which saw him subbed early in the second half, and is ready to send the Italian home for the rest of the season before selling him in the summer
The Italian giants are ready to capitalise in January by offering Balotelli an escape route for the remainder of the season, the Daily Mirror reports.
Milan had initially expressed an interest in buying Balotelli, who played for their arch-rivals Inter Milan before moving to City, but simply can't get near the likely 20 million pounds asking price, the paper added.
But with Mancini prepared to offload his fellow Italian, he will be receptive to a loan deal if it leads to a permanent transfer at the end of the season and sources at Milan suggest that sort of arrangement would suit them just fine, it said.
City were initially reluctant to consider loaning Balotelli out because they wanted to raise funds to buy a replacement by selling, with big-name targets such as Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao and Luis Suarez of Liverpool mentioned, it further reported.
But now the club won't be playing in Europe until next season, there is less of a pressing need for a fourth striker, so Mancini could allow the loan-first deal to ensure he gets funds in the summer to bring in a top-dollar forward, the paper concluded.