Manchester City are to join Premier League rivals Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea in the race to sign Inter Milan starlet Mario Balotelli, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
18-year-old Balotelli, who was born to a Ghanaian family before being put up for adoption, passed up the opportunity to play for Ghana in the summer after receiving a call-up to the national squad.
The Nerazzurri front-man is highly thought of in Italy, and was made an Italian citizen on his 18th birthday in August, with Pierluigi Casiraghi the Italy under-21 coach already handing Balotelli 4 caps, which has seen the San Siro youngster score three times.
Balotelli is valued at £19million by Inter and is understood to currently earn £1.1million-a-year at Jose Mourinho’s side, with it also believed that Balotelli is eager to remain at the Serie A Champions.
City have already been linked with a move for Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and now appear to have cast their net wider in Serie A for recruits to bring to the Eastlands Stadium in January as manager Mark Hughes looks to strengthen his Blues squad.
Inter boss Mourinho is unlikely to let one of Italy’s rising stars leave Inter, but could be tempted to cash in and let Balotelli leave the San Siro should a substantial offer arrive from a Premiership club.