Roberto Mancini has told Il Giornale that Inter Milan are considering an approach for Yaya Toure and believe that the Manchester City midfielder would be interested in taking on a new challenge.
Mancini feels he is in a strong position to get a deal done and is plotting a raid on his former Premier League employers.
He claims Toure would be willing to discuss a move as he has never competed in the Italian top-flight.
The 31-year-old has enjoyed considerable success in Spain and England with Barcelona and City, and has also turned out in Belgium and Russia.
Mancini admits an approach from Inter is imminent, with it possible that Toure could be looking for a change of scenery after five years at the Etihad Stadium.
He told Il Giornale: “He's one of the best players in the world, he can still have his say. He played for many teams, in many leagues like Belgium, Spain, Russia, England. He only misses Italy, this may be a good chance for him.
"We're working on it. You know, there are some players who may change team and Yaya is one of them. Next year we may try: we just need three champions to close the gap with Juventus."
Would City be willing to sanction a sale?
Toure has been a colossus for City during a glittering era for the club.
He has helped them to two Premier League titles, an FA Cup triumph and League Cup win – and has been a leading figure at important times during those successful runs.
His powerful running and ability to shrug off challenges sets him aside from many of those alongside him at the Etihad.
|Season||Goals||Total Scoring Att||Goal Assist||Total Att Assist||Duel Won||Total Contest||Total Pass||Touches||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Gnegneri Yaya Touré||2012-2013||7||69||5||45||131||52||2,525||2,869||32||2,829|
City do not have a direct replacement and, despite his numbers dipping this season, would have to spend big again in order to fill his boots.
They have him tied to a long-term contract which is due to run until 2017, so have no need to sell.
Having seen him add goals to his game and become a talismanic figure – after being more of a holding player at Barcelona – Manuel Pellegrini is unlikely to let Toure leave without a fight.