Roberto Mancini may well make a call to Liverpool in January, but it is Steven Gerrard, and not Mario Balotelli, who he wants at Internazionale.
The former Manchester City coach, who led the Blues to FA Cup success in 2011 and the Premier League title the following year, is back in charge of the Nerazzurri following the dismissal of Walter Mazzarri last week. During his first spell in the San Siro dugout, from 2004 to 2008, he led them to three Serie A titles, two Copa Italia’s and two Italian Super Cups before leaving for England.
One player who has always been associated with Mancini is Balotelli, who perhaps played the best football of his career whilst in the colours of Inter. The controversial striker then followed him to the Etihad Stadium, before he returned to his homeland with Milan. He is now back in the Premier League with Liverpool, but is struggling badly to find anything like his best form.
With Mancini now back at Inter it has inevitably been suggested that he may seek a reunion with the 24-year-old when the transfer window reopens. However, the 49-year-ol d said: “I think that Mario is going to stay at Liverpool. It is a great opportunity for him. He has to do his best there. He has been lucky to get back into England playing for a big club. He has to take this chance.”
However, Mancini may still be asking for the dialling code for Liverpool in the coming weeks. According to Rob Shepherd in the Mail on Sunday, the Italian is considering making an approach for Gerrard who, as it stands, will become a free agent at the end of the season. Although the 34-year-old is widely expected to be offered fresh terms to extend his stay with his hometown club, he would be eligible to talk to interested parties from overseas at the turn of the calendar year.
It is thought that the former England international ace would prefer to remain at Anfield, but if it becomes evident that this will not be possible, he is sure to have a number of options. New York Cosmos, for example, are reportedly keen to offer him a switch to the United States, but Mancini will hope the lure of Serie A may be enough to tempt the midfielder.