Mario Balotelli believes there is 'nobody better' than Roberto Mancini to be Manchester City manager and says the players want the Italian to stay.
Mancini's future at the Etihad Stadium has been the subject of intense speculation of late following City's faltering defence of the Premier League title.
City lie 12 points behind local rivals Manchester United and only have the FA Cup as a realistic trophy option this season after finishing bottom of their UEFA Champions League group.
However, Balotelli does not feel it is the right time for City's owners to dispense with Mancini, despite his own departure in January.
Balotelli, who had a training ground bust-up with Mancini in the weeks leading up to his move to AC Milan, is confident the City boss still retains the support of the players.
"There is nobody better for City," Balotelli is quoted in The Sun. "Most importantly, the players like him.
"If you asked who they want next season, every single player would say Roberto. He's not just their coach but also their friend.
"Look at the success Roberto has had - the FA Cup and a first championship in over 40 years. Even Alex Ferguson does not win a trophy every year, but he always comes back."