Last Updated: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 10:01
AC Milan are set to make a bid for Didier Drogba as an alternative to Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.
The Italian giants have been heavily linked with a swoop for City's controversial forward and have been trying to strike a deal to take him back to his homeland before the transfer window closes a week today.
However, City boss Roberto Mancini's reluctance to lose Balotelli and the club's reported £23.5million asking price has so far thwarted the Rossoneri's efforts to get him to the San Siro.
With time starting to run out, reports in Italy have now suggested that 34-year-old Ivory Coast international Drogba will be targeted instead.
The Champions League winner only joined Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua last summer, but he is keen to terminate his contract and move back to Europe as soon as possible.
Juventus are also thought to be keen, but Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has opened the door to a possible bid to take Drogba.
Quoted in the Gazzetta dello Sport, Allegri told Sky Italia: "Champions of his (Drogba) calibre are very welcome. (Vice-president Adriano) Galliani will know if the deal is feasible.
"I'm calm, the club is just thinking about what could help us out and what we could do about it. A player like Drogba would certainly improve both the technical level and self-esteem of the team. We'll see what the club are able to do, otherwise we'll carry on as we are, looking to have a good second half of the season because that is our objective.
"It will be difficult, though, because we still have to face some teams with a high level of technical quality."
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