By Jason Mellor

ROBERTO MANCINI has been told to forget an audacious summer swoop for AC Milan pair Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva.


The Manchester City manager is a long-term admirer of the £65million-rated Serie A duo, whom he is convinced could prosper in the Premier League.

After informal transfer talks with Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani, Mancini has been weighing up the option of offering either Carlos Tevez or Mario Balotelli to help pave the way for the double deal, as he looks to further strengthen his squad ahead of next season’s Premier League title defence.

But Mancini, who yesterday released injury-prone former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, has been told he is wasting his time, with Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri adamant that Sweden forward Ibrahimovic and Brazil defender Silva are going nowhere in the near future.

Allegri said: “The club and the president are keen to maintain AC Milan at a high level. Thiago and Ibrahimovic will remain here.

“Thiago is young and Ibrahimovic can also give a lot.

“They are two champions on which Milan can build their basis for the future. The club are only working on replacing those players who have left.”

Ibrahimovic finished top scorer in the Italian top flight last season with 28 goals in 31 games.

The 30-year-old is under contract at Milan until June 2015. Silva, 27, who is tied to a lucrative deal until the end of the 2015-16 season, has also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

While Mancini plots his latest incomings, former Manchester United star Hargreaves is heading for the exit after making just four appearances for the newly crowned champions following his arrival on a free transfer last August.

Hargreaves, who was capped 42 times by England, scored once for City, a stand-out strike in the Carling Cup victory over Birmingham City.

He is joined on his way out of the club by Israeli midfielder Gai Assulin and former Rochdale loanee Ahmed Benali.
Hargreaves, 31, whose career has been decimated by a string of fitness problems, will consider retiring from the game if he fails to receive any concrete offers over the next two months.

Phil Jones, meanwhile, is out to make sure the Premier League crown is only on loan to City. The Manchester United defender is still coming to terms with City’s stunning last-gasp title win.

Jones, 20, is grateful to have the Euro 2012 finals to take his mind off the bitter disappointment of throwing away an eight-point lead to hand City the title on goal difference on a never-to-be-forgotten final day.

But he insists United will be raring to go at the start of the new campaign in August, as they look to land an historic 20th top-flight title to banish the memory of the Sergio Aguero strike that ended 44 years of hurt for City.

Jones said: “Things like that can happen in football, but so be it.

“Hopefully we’ll be back next season, fighting and ready to go again. We’ll do things the United way. We’ll bounce back and go again next season.”