Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has dismissed speculation linking Mario Balotelli with a move to Italy, insisting he is "very, very happy" with the striker.
The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with a return to Serie A after being involved in a bust-up with Roberto Mancini on January 3, and although AC Milan appeared to be frontrunners for the player's signature, their city rivals have now joined the race for the striker.
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Goal.com revealed in December that Milan were preparing a bid for Balotelli, but when asked about a possible departure Mancini was quick to deny any claims AC Milan could sign the striker in the January transfer window.
"No, it is not true. I am very, very happy [with Balotelli]," he told reporters.
Balotelli made his return for the first team in last weekend’s FA Cup win over Watford after missing the previous four due to illness.
Questions over a possible demotion were raised when the Italian turned out for the club’s Under-21s during the week – in which he scored twice – but Mancini insisted it was purely a matter of gaining fitness.
Mancini said: "He went with the Under-21s because he needed a game.
"After 40 days without a game, he needed one game. He trained well and I hope this year will be different."