Roberto Mancini has denied that Mario Balotelli is headed for the Manchester City exit door, insisting that the Italy international does have a future with the reigning Premier League champions, according to the
Balotelli is this week due to take City to a Premier League tribunal, in a dispute over a £340,000 fine handed down by the club as a consequence of the striker’s behaviour on the field. The City hierarchy are said to be unhappy that Balotelli missed around a fifth of the club’s matches last season through suspension.
It had been speculated that Balotelli could use the upcoming transfer window as a way out of the Etihad Stadium, with Milan linked to the former Inter player, although the Serie A club would struggle to afford the likely £20m transfer fee and wages of £170,000 per week.
Mancini however is adamant he does not want to sell Balotelli, feeling that if City are to win back-to-back titles, they need as many attacking players as they can get. That is despite leaving Balotelli out of the squad to play Newcastle United on Saturday, when Mancini judged Balotelli would benefit more from a session at the club’s training ground.
“We won the title last year because all the strikers scored a lot of goals. I wanted it to be the same this year. So if a player like Mario is not performing, then he will stay at home,” Mancini said.
The manager added: “We need to have all the players this month as we have a lot of games in two weeks.”