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The Italy international has fallen down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium recently but the backroom staff member backs him to force his way back into Robeto Mancini's plans

Manchester City defensive coach Angelo Gregucci believes that Mario Balotelli is ready to fight for his place in the first team after watching from the sidelines in recent weeks.

The former Inter striker has only started six matches for Roberto Mancini's side this season and was not included in the squad for the recent win over Tottenham.

With Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez forging a productive partnership up front and Edin Dzeko continuing to impress when called upon from the bench, speculation is rife that Balotelli's days at the Etihad may be numbered.

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However, Gregucci was impressed with the 21-year-old's performance for Italy against France on Wednesday and is sure that he is more than capable of working his way back into manager Roberto Mancini's plans.

He told Sky Sport Italia: "Mario gave a great contribution [for Italy] and I saw in him the right attitude and behaviour.

"Mancini has chosen to give him a signal and it is his right to make choices. Perhaps during the last week something was missing but Mario is ready to take back the Manchester City shirt."

AC Milan have reportedly shown an interest in the mercurial striker and Gregucci remained coy on talk of a transfer away from Eastlands for the Italy international.

"Will he stay? It's not up to me to say," he added.

"I just know that he is definitely redeemable. He has 22 years of talent and quality.

"He is a resource of our football club. He will give his contribution to the national team and to City."

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