Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini has ruled out moving for under-fire Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli in the January transfer window, despite the Italian international's struggles in the opening months of his Anfield career.
Balotelli has scored just twice since joining from AC Milan during the summer, with reports suggesting Brendan Rodgers is ready to cut his loses after a series of unconvincing performances from the 24-year-old this season.
Such has been Balotelli's problems at Liverpool that the club continue to be linked with recalling 19-year-old Divock Origi from his loan spell at Lille in order to cure their plight in front goal which has seen Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini all misfire.
Though Balotelli and Mancini were involved in several training ground bust-ups during their spell together at Manchester City, the Italian boss is regarded as one of the few managers capable of encouraging the forward's best form.
The Reds striker won the Serie A title in the 2007/08 season at Inter and the 2011/12 Premier League title at City under Mancini's guidance but since leaving the Etihad Stadium his career has hit a downward trajectory.
Mancini last week replaced sacked manager Walter Mazzarri at the San Siro, but has begun his second spell at Inter by rubbishing suggestions he will secure a return for Balotelli.
"I think that Mario is going to stay at Liverpool," said Mancini. "It is a great opportunity for him.
"He has to do his best there. He has been lucky to get back into England playing for a big club. He has to take this chance."
Balotelli's career at Liverpool looked at the point of no return after he swapped shirts with Real Madrid defender Pepe at half-time in the club's 3-0 Champions League defeat to the Spanish giants last month.
Though Rodgers appears ready to keep faith with Balotelli, he faces a potential spell on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury while training with the Italy national team and could be a doubt for the resumption of the Premier League on 23 November against Crystal Palace.