Date: 30th January 2013 at 1:00pm
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Daily Mirror has softened the blow by revealing Roberto Mancini’s replacement target.

A move for Barcelona forward David Villa is reportedly in the pipeline for Manchester City, with it being reported that Mancini is lining up a deadline day bid for the Spanish forward.

Arsenal have long been linked with the 31-year-old, but it appears Arsene Wenger has given up the chase.

It was revealed Balotelli will join AC Milan after undergoing a medical today, for a fee that could rise to as much as £19 million.

It is understood City have since made an enquiry about Villa, who they hope to rush a deal through for before tomorrow nights transfer deadline.

Ex-Barca officials Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain – now City’s chief executive and sporting director respectively, are hoping to use their contacts at their former club to help seal a deal.

Barcelona have said they do not want to sell the striker, but the Citizens are hoping £15m will be enough to convince them to part with a 31-year-old with a relatively poor injury record.

Villa has struggled to re-establish himself in the Barcelona team this season after missing the whole of the 2011/12 season with a broken leg.

Mancini hopes the forward’s experience and undoubted quality will prove crucial in the outcome of the title race.

Is Villa heading to the Etihad in a last minute deal? Rate this rumour below.

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