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Mancini praises 'young & strong' Carroll

Roberto Mancini has confirmed his admiration for Liverpool forward Andy Carroll, but cooled the prospect of signing the England international on the final day of the January transfer window.

• Andy Carroll keen on Anfield stay
• City reject Tevez-Carroll swap deal

Carroll has had an underwhelming 12 months on Merseyside since his move from Newcastle and reports over the weekend claimed Liverpool had contacted City with regard to a potential swap deal with Carlos Tevez.

City are eager to get Tevez out of the Etihad and Mancini has admitted to being aware of the speculation, but was not party to any conversation.

"There was no phone call to me," Mancini said. "I don't know if [director of football] Brian Marwood was involved. I just read it in the newspaper. I didn't speak to Marwood about this."

City have high-class attacking options, with Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli available to Mancini. As such, a move for Carroll is unlikely despite the Italian praising the misfiring forward.

"Carroll is a good player, he is young and strong but it would be difficult and I don't think it is going to happen," Mancini said.

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