Suarez in contention to replace Balotelli at City as Mancini admits he is a huge fan
11:33 GMT, 2 February 2013
12:06 GMT, 2 February 2013
Luis Suarez could be a potential candidate to replace Mario Balotelli with Roberto Mancini admitting he is a big admirer of the Liverpool hotshot.
City were cut down to three senior strikers after Balotelli completed a 19.5million move to AC Milan this week and Mancini clearly believes Suarez would be a valuable addition to his squad.
Mancini said: 'For me, Suarez is a top player, I like him as he is strong, he works.'
Target man: Luis Suarez (left) is likely to lead the line against Manchester City on Sunday
According to The Sun, City's Italian manager is preparing a 40million summer bid for the Uruguayan hitman.
It will not be easy to prise the 26-year-old striker away from Anfield should Mancini make a bid for Suarez.
In an exclusive interview with Sportsmail earlier this week, Suarez vowed to stay at Liverpool even if they don't qualify for the Champions League this season.
He said: 'I will wait until the end of the season and see how we are doing,' he says. 'We won't know until then how we are doing and what our position is so I am prepared to wait until that time.
In line: Mancini believes Suarez would be an ideal candidate to deputise up front for City
Three remain: Tevez (centre), Aguero (right) and Edin Dzeko are options up front for Mancini since the departure of Mario Balotelli
'But I want to say now that, if you want to know what will happen to me if we don't qualify for the Champions League, then I will say this: I have a contract with Liverpool and I am very happy here. I will stay.'
Mancini and his City squad face Liverpool tomorrow afternoon at the Etihad, and bid to keep pace with league leaders United.
But Suarez's strike partner, ex-City forward Daniel Sturridge, believes the pair are developing a 'telepathic' understanding which could trouble the champions.
Sturridge, who left the Etihad for Chelsea in 2009, told the Daily Telegraph: 'It's early days but the signs are that we're playing well together.
'As you play with someone more regularly, you do things telepathically, you know where they're going to be and you start playing off the cuff.'
Then and now: Daniel Sturridge is hoping to beat Manchester City, who he left in 2009, with Liverpool