Manchester City are ready to pounce for Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli.

Controcampo says City have made contact with Inter and indicated they're willing to pay £16 million for the Italy U21 international in January.

However, the cashed-up Premiership club face competition from Villarreal, which have intimated their willing to go to £17 million for Balotelli.

Inter coach Jose Mourinho has used Balotelli sparingly this season, much to the teenager's frustration, but will be reluctant to part with him in January if he loses Hernan Crespo and Adriano.