Inter boss Stramaccioni coy on January move for Balotelli

Inter head coach Andrea Stramaccioni has hailed Mario Balotelli as a “player of great quality”, but refused to reveal whether his club would be making a bid for the Manchester City forward in January.

The Italian striker has struggled to secure a regular place in the Premier League champions’ starting XI this season and cut a frustrated figure after being substituted during City’s goalless draw at West Ham last weekend.

Despite a number of controversial incidents during the 2012-12 season Mancini opted not to sell Balotelli during the summer, although rumours of a switch back to his former club are gathering pace.

“[Balotelli’s] a player of great quality, a striker which in the last Euro tournament proved his value and has cemented himself in the Italy team. But that’s not a new thing,” Stramaccioni told reporters.

The Italian striker was in scintillating form during Euro 2012, scoring three times and starring against Germany with two goals in the semi-final.

Despite that form, Balotelli has been unable to oust Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, who have been Mancini’s preferred combination so far this term.

Although Stramaccioni has not discussed any potential deal for the player – who spent over three years at Inter before leaving for the Etihad Stadium – he suggested he would be bringing in players during the January transfer window to improve his options.

The Inter coach added: “Transfers? This squad is okay for me, I’m happy with it and I will not talk about [potential players] until January.”

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