• Premier League

Napoli president wants Balotelli to partner Cavani

ESPN staff
January 7, 2013
Mario Balotelli has had a number of run-ins with manager Roberto Mancini © PA Photos

Mario Balotelli could be on his way out of Manchester City after Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis appeared to open the door to the 22-year-old Italy striker moving to Italy.

Balotelli's future has been cast under a cloud after his much-publicised training ground 'grapple' with manager Roberto Mancini last week, although Mancini insists the striker will be given "another 100 chances" by the club.

But amid reports that both Chelsea and City are lining up mega-money bids for Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, De Laurentiis reiterated his desire to keep the Uruguayan striker at the club, and said he would welcome Balotelli at Stadio San Paolo.

"City are considering letting Balotelli go so they can move for Cavani," he told Gazzetta.it. "I would prefer to see Balotelli playing with Cavani here at Napoli."

He went on to predict there would be little movement of high-profile stars in the January transfer window, saying: "Teams tend to hold onto their best players in January. You take a big risk making big investments now."

Meanwhile, Balotelli continued his City rehabilitation by scoring twice in a 4-0 win for the club's Under-21 side on Monday afternoon. The controversial striker let his football do the talking in the game against Blackburn and even turned down the chance to complete a hat-trick as he let his younger team-mates take two penalties.

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