Raiola makes progress in City talks as a deal could be wrapped up within days, according to the latest Italian reports...Inter striker Mario Balotelli is on the verge of finally joining Manchester City as Sky Sport Italia report the deal could be concluded soon.
Mino Raiola, Balotelli's agent, and one of the player's lawyers have been speaking with City chiefs in Manchester throughout Thursday as they try to reach a rapid conclusion.
The presence of Balotelli's lawyer strongly suggests contracts could be rubber stamped by the end of play, and then Balotelli would have to put his own pen to paper.
Once an agreement is found over wages - previous reports suggested City were offering €3.8 million per annum - City directors will fly back to Milan with Raiola to close the deal on Inter's end, believed to be worth €30m plus bonuses.
Balotelli, City and Inter are all hoping the deal is closed soon, leaving Raiola to hasten the talks.
Meanwhile, talks are still ongoing between Real Madrid and the Nerazzurri for Maicon.
Here it's not a question of hours, but days as there are still questions at issue over wages.
Maicon is holding out for €7m a year, but Real Madrid think that is excessive given that he earns €4m with Inter.
The Spanish club have reached a €26m plus bonuses transfer agreement with Inter. Jose Mourinho has reportedly spoken to Maicon personally to tell him to lower his wage demands so the deal can go through.
If that move fails then Real Madrid will turn to Chelsea's Ricardo Carvalho.
Maicon's agent Antonio Caliendo has spoken to Italian media since then. "I am waiting for someone to solve this situation. I have excellent relationships with Real Madrid. I hope Massimo Moratti considers Maicon and his transfer price," he told Calciomercato.it.
UPDATE 2125 CET Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola has been quoted by Firenzeviola.it as saying, "There was no agreement today." However, Sky Sport Italia quotes Raiola as saying, "At the moment negotiations are not closed."
UPDATE 1745 CET: Sky Sport Italia claim that Manchester City and Inter are still yet to reach an agreement, and that Balotelli remains a Nerazzurro for now, although it is still only a matter of time until the transfer is completed.