Mancini: Balotelli not for sale
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has said Mario Balotelli is not for sale, despite his poor form of late.
The maverick striker was criticised by his manager following his performance in the Manchester derby on Sunday which saw him substituted after just 52 minutes.
Balotelli was accused of wasting his talent by the former Internazionale boss as he told the media that his poor attitude and performance on and off the pitch could not continue.
The situation was only made worse as reports circled suggesting the Italian international’s days as a City player were numbered.
But now Mancini has ruled out Balotelli’s January sale, as speculation suggested, highlighting his quality.
“Balotelli is not for sale,” Mancini told Sky Sport Italia according to Sky Sports.
“Mario is a City player, he is loved by the fans and the management. He has been an important player for us.
“A player of his quality should think exclusively to his work and his family, he has talent and he cannot blow it as he is doing.
“Our paths may separate if I change team, but he will remain at City.”
Meanwhile, there has been speculation linking Mancini with a move away from the Etihad, but he says no such thing is on the cards.
However, the Italian did admit to missing life in his homeland.
“I’m fine at City,” said the Italian. “I work in a very serious club and in England it is easier to work. There is a project and we have done a great job in two years.
“I feel really good, but it is clear that I miss Italy because home is always missing.”
When asked if we fancied being appointed as the Italy national team’s boss, he added: “It is still early and [Cesare] Prandelli is doing well.”
The Citizens were also linked with a move for midfield duo Daniele De Rossi of Roma and Wesley Sneijder of Inter, but Mancini was quick to dismiss this.
Asked about De Rossi, he said: “We tried to get him in the summer, but it ended there. I think that he now remains at Roma. I do not think he will leave.”
And for Sneijder, Mancini added: “We have never contacted him. Wesley has great quality, but we have other players in that role, like [Samir] Nasri and [David] Silva.”
However it seemed Mancini was more open for a move for Stephan El Shaarawy, the current top goalscorer in Serie A, but as we have come to expect from the Italian, not too open.
“I really like El Shaarawy,” said Mancini.
“He is really good player who has seen an incredible improvement. He can become a great champion. Will he be coming to City? No, he’s at Milan.”