AC Milan chief executive, Adriano Galliani, has ruled out the idea of a swap deal involving the Italian club's in-form forward Stephan El Shaarawy and the Premier League champions' misfiring Italy international, Mario Balotelli, according to a report by talkSport.
The 20 year old (who is of Egyptian descent) is having a breakout season at the San Siro, with 13 goals and two assists in the Serie A. And a further two goals and an assist from six appearances in the Champions League has only enhanced interest in the former Padova forward.
Unfortunately for the Rossoneri, Shaarawy's goals are the only bright spot in an otherwise disappointing league campaign so far. The former domestic and European champions are seventh in Serie A, with 24 points from 16 games. And Massimiliano Allegri's side trail Napoli, in the final Champions League position, by nine points. Their performance in the Champions League this season has been equally poor, with the club only barely managing to qualify for the knock-out stages from Group C; they finished second to Spanish club Malaga and above Russians Zenit St Petersburg and Belgians Anderlecht.
Meanwhile, 22 year old Balotelli continues to frustrate Etihad officials and his manager. The former Inter Milan striker started the weekend's Manchester derby but was replaced by the more effective Carlos Tevez shortly after the interval. And his poor performance and petulant behaviour led Roberto Mancini to warn his star to respect the club and his career. However, regardless of his form, Mancini has been quoted as warning interested clubs off him.
"Balotelli is not for sale. Mario is a City player, he is loved by the fans and the management. He has been an important player for us. A player of his quality should think exclusively to his work and his family, he has talent and he cannot blow it as he is doing," the former Lazio manager said, adding, "Our paths may separate if I change team, but he will remain at City."
Milan were linked with a January move for the forward, as they seek to inject fresh energy into a flagging squad. Inter have also been linked with a move to re-sign but president Massimo Moratti has since ruled out an approach.
No to De Rossi and Sneijder
Meanwhile, Mancini has ruled out, for his part, any interest in either Wesley Sneijder or Daniele De Rossi. The Dutch playmaker and the Italian central midfielder were linked with moves to the Premier League champions after falling out with their clubs - Inter and AS Roma, respectively.
"We tried to get De Rossi last summer but didn't succeed and now we're not interested. At the moment we don't need De Rossi, I think he'll stay at Roma," he explained, adding, "Sneijder is a very good player but we have two players in [Samir] Nasri and [David] Silva who have the same skills as Sneijder. So Sneijder can't be helpful for us."