Roberto Mancini: Mario Balotelli can be better than Fernando Torres

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Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini claims Mario Balotelli will prove a better signing than Fernando Torres.

Mancini landed the 20-year-old Italian from former club Internazionale for a fee in the region of £25million last week.

Balotelli scored on his City debut after bagging the winner in Thursday's 1-0 Europa League play-off victory over FC Timisoara.

Mancini turned to Balotelli after failing to prise Spain striker Torres away from Liverpool during a lengthy summer transfer saga.

However, the Italian coach has no regrets about the route he has taken, with the two strikers set to go head-to-head in Monday's clash with Liverpool at Eastlands.

"Torres is a fantastic striker but I think it was difficult for Liverpool to sell him because he's such an important player for them," explained Mancini.

"But it's good for us that we got Balotelli instead.

"Balotelli could be even better than Torres because Torres can only play as a striker. Balotelli can play as a striker or as a winger.

"What is sure is we are talking about two fantastic players.

"In my view, there are eight or nine fantastic strikers in the world – and Torres and Balotelli are two of them.

"Then there's (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic, (Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Carlos) Tevez and (Lionel) Messi. They're all fantastic players and we've managed to get one of them."

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