Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini wants Swedish striker John Guidetti to replace Italy international Mario Balotelli. The 22-year-old former Inter Milan forward has joined the Nerazzurri's city rivals, AC Milan. The 20-year-old Guidetti, meanwhile, is sidelined with an injury and has yet to feature for the Citizens this season.
Guidetti spent last season on loan to Dutch side Feyenoord and had a very impressive spell with the club, scoring 20 times in 23 appearances. Mancini has admitted it is difficult to sign a replacement for Balotelli in a mid-season window and with only hours left to negotiate a deal. The former Lazio boss said he wanted to use this opportunity to give Guidetti a run in the first team.
"It is difficult to bring in a replacement - with only two days, we didn't have a chance and at this moment we need a defender more, as we have a lot of injuries. John is in training with us every day but is not ready to play at this moment. He needs one or two months but, when he gets the chance to play, we will get him," Manchester Evening News quoted Mancini as saying.
Balotelli's departure means the Premier League champions have three front-line strikers - the Argentine duo of Carlos Tevez and Sergio Agüero and Bosnian Edin Dezko. City were believed to be considering Barcelona striker David Villa but that now seems unlikely, especially with the Catalans being reluctant to sell the Spanish international.
Balotelli: Always Wanted to Play for Milan
Balotelli has claimed he is delighted with his move to the San Siro. The striker had an excellent start to this season, with outstanding performances for his national team at the 2012 European Championships; this included a brace against tournament favourites Germany in the knock-out stages. However, he was unable to transfer that form to domestic competitions and has only one goal from 14 league appearances.
"I'd wanted to play for Milan for such a long time, but I played for other teams as the opportunity to play for them had not yet arisen. Whenever there was a chance, I ran. The beginning to the season for me was negative [with City]. With this shirt I will do better," Balotelli explained.