MANCHESTER misfits David de Gea and Mario Balotelli are inching closer to an early exit from Old Trafford and the Etihad.
Balotelli trained alone yesterday while Manchester City prepared for an FA Cup fourth round trip to play Stoke amid speculation that he is packed and ready to leave for AC Milan.
Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has backed away from recent claims that the striker is a 'bad apple' and is now talking in terms of finance and vice-president Adriano Galliani's efforts to do a deal.
Meanwhile de Gea's girlfriend, Spanish pop star Edurne, has dropped a broad hint that Barcelona is on the much-criticised netminder's radar.
"David feels very good at Manchester United, but of course he would like to return to Spain and if it was Barca it would be even better," she said in reply to suggestions that Barcelona were ready to make an offer.