Federico Macheda helps Manchester United boss Fergie in bid to cut Mario Balotelli deal

July 14th, 2010

Manchester Utd are among a host of suitors battling it out to sign Inter Milan wonderkid Mario Balotell (Photo: Getty Images)

Federico Macheda has reportedly been helping Manchester United’s pursuit of Mario Balotelli by begging the Inter Milan forward to snub Eastlands for Old Trafford.
Both City and United have shown interest in the troublesome striker, with Roberto Mancini’s side in a stronger position to meet Inter’s hefty £30million asking price.

But Sir Alex Ferguson has a different weapon. Former Lazio striker Macheda has been bombarding his Italy Under 21 team-mate with text messages and phone calls extolling the merits of United, according to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport.

Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola has already signalled his intention to speak to both Manchester clubs and is said to have spoken to intermediaries about United’s interest on Monday.

The availability of another of Raiola’s players is said to have been broached, with reports in Catalonia insisting that United are seriously interested in unsettled Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Sweden striker, who earns about £160,000 a week and would command a fee in excess of £35m, appears to be beyond United’s financial reach, but he remains on City’s short list if bids for Balotelli and Wolfsburg’s Edin Dzeko fail.

Juventus are pushing hard to sign Bosnia and Herzegovina striker Dzeko, with reports in Turin suggesting Chelsea and Bayern Munich may also re-enter the race if Wolfsburg lower their prohibitive £50m asking price.

Respected Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport insists Real Madrid are also keen on Balotelli, despite new Bernabeu boss Jose Mourinho falling out with the 19-year-old at the San Siro last season.

Inter boss Rafa Benitez will reportedly hold talks with Madrid president Florentino Perez today, while Raiola is set to explore all the options with Inter Milan sporting director Marco Branca.

The European and Italian champions are keen on Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt or Palermo’s Edinson Cavani – a Tottenham target – if they lose Balotelli.

Balotelli is open to a move and would ideally like to join his boyhood team AC Milan, but the Rossonero are concentrating on other targets.

Source: DailyMail

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