Five Manchester City players, plus a certain striker, Mancini may target at Inter

Mancini Touchline

With Roberto Mancini to take in a second spell at Inter Milan, might he be planning a raid on the Premier League and former employers Manchester City?

Roberto Mancini is back in familiar surroundings at Inter Milan, with the Italian giants turning to a man they know well following the decision to part with Walter Mazzarri.

During his previous stint at the San Siro, Mancini guided Inter to three Serie A titles before upping sticks for England and adding Premier League and FA Cup honours to his distinguished CV during four years at Manchester City.

He was able to spend big during his time at the Etihad Stadium, with full advantage taken of Sheikh Mansour’s deep pockets.

Mancini has another wealthy backer behind him at Inter in the form of Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir and will be expected to be busy when the transfer window swings open again in the New Year.

It may be that he turns his attention to the Premier League ranks and players he knows well, with City likely to be bracing themselves for enquiries in the not too distant future.

Who, though, might Mancini be adding to his wish list as he prepares to hit the January sales?

Aleksandar Kolarov

A Mancini signing taken to City in the summer of 2010, Kolarov is a player who knows Serie A well from his time at Lazio so would have no problem adjusting to the demands of the Italian top-flight.

His buccaneering style is well suited to the Premier League, but his attacking approach means he is often sacrificed in big games when greater emphasis is placed on keeping things tight. Kolarov can, however, operate at full-back or on the left of midfield so would be useful addition to the Inter squad.

Gael Clichy

If Kolarov were to be overlooked, having penned a new deal at City over the summer, it could be that his rival for a left-back berth at the Etihad becomes a top target for Mancini. Clichy is a proven international performer who has spent the last 11 years in England with Arsenal and City.

He is prone to the odd lapse in concentration but is blessed with the kind of pace which allows him to dig himself out of self-inflicted holes. Clichy would probably be a cheaper option than Kolarov if an approach is made.

Stevan Jovetic

Another of those well versed in Italian football following five productive years at Fiorentina. His efforts in Florence earned him a £22 million move to City in 2013, but he has struggled to deliver a return on that sizeable investment.

Niggling injuries have done his cause few favours, with it difficult to produce your best when splitting your time between the training field and the treatment table. There is, however, no doubting Jovetic’s ability – with the Montenegrin a player capable of winning games on his own – and another move may help to get him back on track.

Edin Dzeko

A player Mancini rates highly enough to have spent £27 million on his services in January 2011. The Bosnian striker was never the first name on the Italian’s team sheet, but that is mainly due to the fact that he faces fierce competition for places at the Etihad.

Dzeko would appear to boast all of the attributes required to be a success in Serie A, with his game all about aerial prowess, clever movement and dominating opposition defences. He is another to have recently penned fresh terms at City, but that does not mean that negotiations are completely off the table – with Manuel Pellegrini likely having to sell before he can buy again.

Micah Richards

Not a deal that could be done in January, but one which could be sounded out ahead of the summer. Richards currently finds himself in Italy with Fiorentina, with a season-long loan agreement taking him away from City for the first time since his arrival in their youth ranks as a talented teenager.

He has been eased into the fold in Florence with another former City man, Stefan Savic, occupying the right-back berth. Richards will be savouring the experience, though, and would likely jump at the chance to be reunited with Mancini in Milan if the opportunity arises.

Finally, turning attention away from City, is it possible that Mancini would be willing to take another gamble on an enigmatic striker he has previously worked with in Italy and England?

Mario Balotelli

If you believe what you read, Liverpool are already willing to listen to offers for a player they snapped up from AC Milan for £16 million over the summer. It is safe to say that things have not gone entirely to plan for Super Mario upon his return to English shores.

He is, however, a special talent capable of producing moments of magic when working under the right guidance. Mancini knows better than most how much of a handful Balotelli can be, but that did not stop him taking the Italy international with him when he swapped Milan for Manchester. The pair endured a strained relationship at times but their squabbles had more a father-son feel to them than manager-player, with Mancini prepared to forgive and forget on more than one occasion.

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