Manchester City could sell striker Mario Balotelli in January as manager Roberto Mancini has been told he must raise funds before buying players.

Mancini was told at his first meeting with new sporting director Txiki Begiristan last week that it will be a quiet January transfer window for the club unless he can raise funds first by selling players.

Inter Milan and AC Milan are both interested in taking Balotelli, 22, who is valued at £22 million by City.

City may delay buying until the summer, when they have a better chance of landing A-list targets Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Daniele de Rossi.

Mancini will be hoping Balotelli’s form picks up in the next few weeks but he doubts the striker can fulfil his potential at the Etihad Stadium.

Balotelli is not even guaranteed a place against Tottenham today, which he hoped would be his 50th game for City. – Mail On Sunday