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Manchester City are facing a transfer bidding war with near neighbours Manchester United over the signature of highly rated Inter striker Mario Balotelli.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter chief Massimo Moratti admitted to interest from City on Friday but claimed he was not aware of a concrete offer despite sources claiming an initial €25 million (£21m) bid had been submitted.
However, it is thought the Citizens will have to upscale their offer to €35m (£29.5m) to land Balotelli, while United are ready to gatecrash any potential transfer and squeeze themselves into negotiations.
Ernesto Paolillo, the Serie A club's CEO, has already warned that, 'Balotelli would cost more than anyone else,' leading to strong belief the club are not willing to part cheaply with the promising youngster.
Sir Alex Ferguson is believed to have offered €35m in direct response to City's opening bid though, as they try to turn Inter heads.
Despite the Nerazzurri sending mixed messages, Balotelli seems destined to depart the San Siro this season, although he is unlikely to join the Red Devils on their US tour according to Sky Sport Italia.
Such speculation has lead to increased views that he is waiting for Inter to accept further bids from one of the two Premier League giants.