Inter boss Stramaccioni coy on January move for Balotelli

The Italian boss refused to reveal whether he would be launching a January raid for the Manchester City striker, who has struggled to hold down a place in Roberto Mancini's side
Inter boss Andrea Stramaccioni has hailed Mario Balotelli as a "player of great quality", but refused to reveal whether his club would be making a bid for the Manchester City forward in January.

The Italian striker has struggled to secure a regular place in the Premier League champions' starting XI this season and cut a frustrated figure after being substituted during City's goalless draw at West Ham last weekend.

And while Roberto Mancini elected to keep the 22-year-old at the Etihad Stadium in the summer, despite a number of controversial incidents during the 2012-12 season, rumours of a switch back to his former club are gathering pace.

"What I think about Balotelli? He's a player of great quality, a striker which in the last Euro tournament has proved his value and has confirmed himself in the Italy team. But that's not a new thing," Stramaccioni told reporters.

The Italian striker was in scintillating form during Euro 2012, scoring three times and starring against Germany with two goals in the semi final.

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Despite that form, Balotelli has been unable to oust Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, who have been Mancini's preferred combination so far this term.

Although Stramaccioni has not discussed any potential deal for the player, who spent over three years at Inter, he suggested he would be bringing in players during the January transfer window to improve his options.

He added: "Transfers? This roster is ok to me, I'm happy with it and I will not talk about 'calciomercato' until January."