AC Milan have added to speculation they are preparing a January bid for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.
The former Inter Milan player's future is uncertain in England after starting just one of his club's last eight matches in all competitions, including only making a substitute appearance in Tuesday's defeat by Borussia Dortmund.
City boss Roberto Mancini has been a long-term fan of Balotelli but it appears his trust in the £24million summer 2010 signing is slipping after several negative headline-grabbing incidents.
And Milan could be ready to offer the Italy international a return to his homeland with a bid when the transfer window opens in less than a month.
Speaking before Milan's Champions League defeat by Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday night, boss Massimiliano Allegri said of Balotelli: "He is an important player with extraordinary physical and technical qualities.
"I believe, however, given his qualities, he threw away a few years of his career."
Allegri has also hinted current Milan star Stephan El Shaarawy and Balotelli would make a lethal attacking combination for the club.
"I think they have done good things with the Italian national team," said Allegri. "But I want to talk about AC Milan and the players I have. Then, in January, we will see what happens."
Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has also suggested a move for Balotelli is not just a fantasy after giving a teasing response when asked about the 22-year-old.
Berlusconi told Sky Sport Italia when questioned if Balotelli is a dream: "No, it's not a dream. I never dream."