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Juventus enter Balotelli talks

Juventus have entered talks with Manchester City over the signing of striker Mario Balotelli, according to Sky sources.

Last Updated: 29/01/13 at 16:45 Post Comment

Mario Balotelli: Has made just two appearances for Manchester City this year

Mario Balotelli: Has made just two appearances for Manchester City this year

AC Milan are already in negotiations with City about bringing Italy international Balotelli back to Serie A, according to Sky Italia, and it appears Italian champions Juve are now competing with them for the 22-year-old's signature.

City manager Roberto Mancini has consistently rubbished speculation linking Balotelli with a return to Italy, and as recently as Monday morning Mancini's assistant David Platt played down the prospect of a deal before Thursday's transfer deadline.

But the latest reports suggest a move for Balotelli could be imminent.

There has been no official comment from City, and even Platt was in the dark when he stood in for Mancini at a press conference ahead of Tuesday's trip to Queens Park Rangers.

He said: "We've three days left before the deadline, but I haven't heard anything, to be honest. It's speculation.

"It's a shame Robbie's not here, because he might know a lot more than me. As far as we're concerned, he's still a Manchester City player. I'm not aware of any negotiation."

Balotelli, who previously played for Inter Milan, was labelled a "bad apple" by Milan's owner Silvio Berlusconi earlier this season after a series of disciplinary problems during his two-and-a-half-years in England.

But neither that outburst, nor Berlusconi's claim last week that the 22-year-old is out of Milan's price range, has killed off talk of a deal with speculation in Italy suggesting Milan are prepared to pay around £20m plus add-ons.

Balotelli has travelled with the City squad to London for the game at QPR and is available having overcome the virus which kept him out of Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round win at Stoke.

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