Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is ready to firm up his interest in Sampdoria striker Antonio Cassano. The Daily Mail says City's Italian boss has drawn up a short-list of targets from Serie A and is a long-time admirer of Cassano, the former Roma and Real Madrid striker who remains his preferred option.

It was thought that Cassano would not be available until the summer, though a recent falling-out with Sampdoria coach Gigi del Neri has raised hopes that a deal could be done this month.