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Mancini on Balotelli/Dzeko

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Definitely a busy day for transfer speculation.

Both the MEN and Telegraph have gone with a story based on Roberto Mancini's comments to the Italian newspaper Il Giornale, in which amongst other things (predominantly about the World Cup and Fabio Capello) he discusses Mario Balotelli and Edin Dezko, and declaring an interest in both.

Firstly, on Balotelli:

"If Inter decide to sell (Balotelli), we will be there."

The Telegraph also previously reported that a bid for Balotelli had been turned down, and it has been widely suggested that United are also eyeing him should he become available.

He is certainly a talent, and like TLDORC I think he would be a good addition. Pacy, strong, versatile (able to play across the front line) and offering a real spark, he matches Mancini's pre-requisites perfectly and there are those who feel his supposed attitude problems are not an entirely accurate reflection of his persona.

The potential difficulty with Balotelli is that at this stage he hasn't expressed an interest (let alone a firm desire) to leave Inter. It is difficult to see where he would fit into Rafa Benitez's plans, but by this time, Mancini may have moved on to other targets.

And one such target may be Edin Dzeko. We know that Dzeko wants out of Wolfsburg, and interest from City appears to be genuine. Mancini's comments were thus:

Balotelli and Dzeko in attack: good idea?

"Absolutely. Dzeko is more of an interest."

It was also tweeted by Christian Larrson that Garry Cook was due to meet Wolfsburg officials next week to agree on a fee, and his view is that the deal will be completed by this time next week.

Where interest in Balotelli and/or Dzeko leaves the reported pursuit of Zlatan Ibrahimovic is unknown, but given the options already at the club I don't see more than one, let alone all three, of the trio arriving unless the club begins to start shipping players (and wages) out of the door.

Perhaps with the conclusion of the World Cup this weekend, and with just five weeks to go until the season opener, some of the recent speculation may begin to make way for some actual movement.