Balotelli and Mancini in 'bust-up'

Pictures have emerged of an apparent training-ground bust-up between Mario Balotelli and Man City boss Roberto Mancini.

Last Updated: 03/01/13 at 16:26 Post Comment

Balotelli and Mancini clash during training

Balotelli and Mancini clash during training

Manchester City's FA Cup preparations have been thrown into turmoil by yet another training ground bust-up involving Mario Balotelli.

The Italy striker had to be separated from Blues boss Roberto Mancini, who reacted after Balotelli caught Scott Sinclair with a late challenge.

Although officials have attempted to play down the incident, which two sources have said was a "storm in a tea-cup", pictures indicate a clash of tempers, with Mancini appearing particularly animated and angry.

Members of the City coaching team dragged Balotelli away from his boss, who was shown to be pointing at the forward following the initial tackle.

Mancini is also seen grabbing Balotelli's orange bid as he made his feelings known, even though the younger man towers over the former Italy international.

City refused to comment, yet again citing the public access around their training ground as the reason why what they regard as a relatively minor incident should cause such a stir.

However, Mancini is due to speak with the media on Friday morning ahead of the third-round tie with Watford, which Sergio Aguero seems certain to miss with the hamstring injury he suffered in the New Year's Day win over Stoke.

This weekend's game is certain to be overshadowed by Balotelli's latest scrape, which places further question marks over his City future.

For, whilst it is not the first furious argument Balotelli and Mancini have had - the pair have exchanged words both on the training ground and in matches - it does come in a period where the City manager's faith in the striker is beginning to wane.

Even last season, when Balotelli's dismissal at Arsenal in April led to Mancini declaring he might never play for the club again, there was always a thought he would eventually come good.

After providing the pass for Aguero's last-gasp title-winning goal against QPR the following month, Balotelli went on to enjoy a superb Euro 2012, which his performance in Italy's semi-final win over Germany in Warsaw widely accepted as one of the best individual displays of the entire tournament.

Yet a lacklustre performance in the final has been followed by some inept contributions for City.

He has scored only two Premier League goals this season and was singled out by Mancini for some pointed comments after another dismal performance against Manchester United last month when he was surprisingly preferred to Carlos Tevez, but was replaced early in the second half.

After the 3-2 defeat, Mancini warned Balotelli he risked wasting his considerable talent by failing to devote enough time to his career.

The former Inter Milan frontman has not played since, partly due to Mancini's own selection decisions but also a slight virus.

With Aguero facing a short spell on the sidelines, Mancini could have done with a positive contribution from Balotelli.

However, whilst City have previously stated they will not sell the 22-year-old during the present transfer window, today's development may well make the Blues think again should any club lodge a substantial enough bid.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

FA chairman Greg Dyke says Sepp Blatter "has to go".

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke insists that "Sepp Blatter has to go as FIFA president".

Jack Warner has been arrested and bailed in Trinidad

Jack Warner has been arrested and will be released on bail in Trinidad and Tobago as part of the FIFA investigation.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter welcomes US investigations

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has issued a statement welcoming investigations by US and Swiss authorities

Mail Box

Vidic Is Part Of United's 'Budget XI'

We have post-2000 budget XIs on behalf of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs. Plus gaelic football, FIFA, more awards and the majesty of Il Fenomeno...

Europa League: Hardly The AIA Cup

A Spurs fan definitely isn't bothered his side aren't in the Europa League final tonight. Also, a warning about Michael Laudrup, and how to build a team with less than £20m.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company