Milan and Inter poised to battle for Balotelli

Maverick City striker's exit from City seems inevitable

Serie A giants AC Milan and Inter are set to battle for troubled Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli this summer.

Both Milan clubs are ready to launch £20 million bids for Balotelli, whose two-year spell at Etihad looks over, according to a Mirror exclusive.

The controversial 21-year-old was dismissed for two yellow cards after a pair of ugly challenges in the Premier League encounter against Arsenal on Sunday.

City manager Roberto Mancini exasperated after their 1-0 defeat which blew their title hopes said the Italian of Ghanaian origin would play no further part in the Premier League run-in and would "probably" be sold in the summer.

Balotelli escaped extra punishment by the FA on Tuesday when they decided not to tak retrospective action for his studs up tackle on Arsenal’s Alex Song which went unpunished by match officials.

Mancini met with Balotelli’s lawyer Vittorio Rigo at a Cheshire restaurant last week to discuss the player’s future, according to the report.

The Italian has come under fire for his perceived preferential treatment of Balotelli and the destabilising effect it has had on the squad.

There were rumours of a dressing bust-up between the players after their latest setback, which was denied by club officials.

It remains to be seen whether Balotelli would feature again for City this season with six games remaining after his three-match suspension ends.

However, his departure from Etihad looks inevitable with reports in Italy suggest Balotelli’s former club Inter and their rivals AC Milan are poised to table bids for the maverick forward.

Balotelli's on and off-field antics have been a major distraction for City's stalled campaign as they took just five points from a possible 15 to trail leaders Manchester United by eight.

Selling Balotelli would solve one problem for City, although they would have to take a slight loss on the £24m they paid Inter for the forward two years ago.