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Stramaccioni: Balotelli is an asset to football but he is a Manchester City player

The striker has been linked with a return to San Siro after his current boss, Roberto Mancini, admitted that the English club will probably try to sell the player in the summer

Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni believes Mario Balotelli is extremely talented but refused to be drawn on the club’s rumoured interest in re-signing the Manchester City forward.

Balotelli left the Nerazzurri for Eastlands in 2010 but his future in England is now in doubt after City manager Roberto Mancini admitted that the club will probably try to sell the volatile striker following his dismissal against Arsenal.

That prompted immediate speculation of a return to San Siro, but Stramaccioni was doing his best to dodge the issue during his pre-game press conference ahead of Wednesday’s Serie A clash with Siena.

"Balotelli? I've already answered [this question],” the former Primavera boss stated.

“He's an asset to football but he's a Man City player. I want to talk about my own players."

However, Stramaccioni was also asked about Inter youth team product Mattia Destro, who is currently on loan to Siena from Genoa.

“He’s a mature player with great all-round ability,” the 36-year-old coach enthused. “He'd be a useful addition to any team.”

Turning his attention to Inter’s league campaign, Stramaccioni admitted that the Nerazzurri have not given up on qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

"We want third place," he declared. "There's no denying it and we believe we can do it. That's what we're working towards."

Inter have picked up four points from Stramaccioni’s first two games in charge and he admits that he has been encouraged by the response he has received from his troops since succeeding Claudio Ranieri.

“It’s been positive,” he reasoned. “I was disappointed on Saturday [against Cagliari] but the signs are positive. Inter are alive.”

The Nerazzurri's meeting with Siena at the Giuseppe Meazza kicks off at 20.45CET.