Football: Balotelli 'fine' at Liverpool, says new Inter Milan coach Mancini

MILAN (AFP) - New Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini said he had no plans to bring Mario Balotelli back to the Serie A club after beginning his second spell with the Nerazzurri on Saturday.

Mancini, who spent four success-laden years at Inter between 2004-2008, succeeded Walter Mazzarri who was sacked on Friday after Inter had slipped to ninth in the league with only four wins from their opening 11 games.

But as the Italian prepares to talk over likely tactical and possible personnel changes with his current crop of players, Mancini said Balotelli - currently enduring a difficult start to the season at Liverpool - was not on his radar.

"Mario's doing fine at Liverpool and should do well there. He should do everything to make the best of his opportunity there," Mancini told reporters in Milan on Saturday.

Balotelli started his senior career under Mancini at Inter and, after falling out with subsequent Inter coach Jose Mourinho, followed Mancini to Manchester City in 2010.

However, Balotelli's notorious disciplinary problems meant the pair clashed regularly and City eventually sold the Italy striker to AC Milan in January 2013.

Now at Liverpool, where he has failed to score a league goal so far, Balotelli is likely to the last player on Mancini's Christmas wish list.

Instead, Mancini is expected to focus on reinstilling confidence and belief among a squad of players that has suffered few highs and plenty of lows under Mazzarri in the 53-year-old coach's 17-month tenure.

Although many Inter fans have already called on Mancini to ditch the 3-5-2 used by Mazzarri, Mancini gave little clues as to which tactical formation he would deploy.

"We can play with a three-man as much as a four-man defence. I have some ideas about how we should be playing, but I want to talk to the players first," he said.

Asked if he would find space in his future team for Japanese wingback Yuto Nagatomo, Mancini replied: "He's a top player and a Japanese international. I will definitely try to use him."

A number of leading Inter players, including forward Fredy Guarin and defender Nemanja Vidic, have been subject to fierce criticism amid Inter's poor start to the campaign.

But Mancini said: "They (Guarin and Vidic) are both great players. Vidic is still getting used to things here after playing for so many years in England with Manchester United.

"Guarin can be a very important player for Inter. I have to talk to him." Mancini, meanwhile, hailed the relatively young age of Inter's squad: "It's a plus, absolutely, because we can still grow and use our enthusiasm to create a young and powerful squad in the future.

"I want us to be playing good football."