Balotelli, Mancini in training ground confrontation


The Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and Mario Balotelli were involved in a confrontation at the club’s training ground. Photograph: Eamonn & James Clarke. Mario Balotelli and Roberto Mancini were involved in a physical confrontation at Manchester City’s training ground in an incident believed to have been provoked by a bad tackle. Sources said the 22-year-old striker clashed with his manager in front of team-mates at their Carrington base while preparing for their FA Cup third round match against Watford.
The pair were said to have confronted each other during a practice match, when Balotelli challenged a team-mate for the ball. The incident is certain to revive speculation over Balotelli’s future, despite Mancini having repeatedly rejected the idea of selling him during the January transfer window. Mancini told Gazzetta dello Sport at the end of last month: “I think Mario will stay but the future depends mostly on him… The relationship between me and him is always good, even if one day he does something. “I love him because for many years we live together. I’ve seen him grow. But the professional relationship is another thing and I’ve told Mario what I need from him. “The time of cheap talk is over. Balotelli is 22 years old and now it’s time to be professional. I ask from him seriousness and commitment in training, a more stable private life and correct behaviour on the pitch.”