City: No action against Balotelli

  • Last Updated: January 4 2013, 21:10 GMT

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli will not face any disciplinary action from the club after manager Roberto Mancini played down the pair's latest confrontation.

Mancini and Balotelli square up at training on Thursday
Mancini and Balotelli square up at training on Thursday

Mancini has been photographed grappling with his fellow Italian in a training-ground bust-up.

It is merely the latest in a long line of controversies involving the maverick Balotelli but Mancini, who has given the player numerous chances to redeem himself, insists his patience has not run out.

Mancini said: "I will give him another 100 chances, if it is possible, if I think he can change. I am here for this.

"Sometimes I am upset with him because he doesn't do everything for this, but I give him another chance, sure.

"He is 22 and he can do a mistake."

The flashpoint occurred after a bad tackle by Balotelli on Scott Sinclair during a training game.

It was captured by photographers because City's Carrington training ground is flanked by public footpaths, a source of recurring frustration for the club.

Mancini feels the issue has been blown out of proportion although he admits he briefly lost his temper with Balotelli.

He said: "For two seconds, yes - during three or four seconds because he didn't want to leave the pitch.

"He can't do this against no-one, but then it was finished.

"It wasn't a bad thing like in the paper. The photo is worse than what happened.

"We were playing a game and Mario kicked his team-mate and I said to him, 'Go inside, leave the pitch'. He said 'no', and I took his shirt, I pushed him off the pitch.

"This is what really happened, there was no fight."

The incident has fuelled speculation Balotelli could leave the club during this month's transfer window.

Balotelli has not played since the December 9 derby loss to Manchester United and has been linked with a return to Italy but Mancini has no intention of selling him.

He said: "This doesn't change anything. This is something that can happen.

"Usually it is between two players. It is different because I wanted him to leave the pitch after what he did."

Mancini voiced fears that Balotelli's talent could go to waste if he did not improve his attitude after a poor display against United, when he headed straight down the tunnel after being substituted.

He was dropped for the next match at Newcastle and it then emerged Balotelli was taking the club to a Premier League tribunal in a dispute over an internal fine.

Balotelli abandoned that challenge and has since been absent from the last four games with a virus.

He could be on the bench for this weekend's FA Cup third-round tie against Watford at the Etihad Stadium but Mancini has again urged him to change his ways.

Mancini said: "The problem could be himself. (If) he doesn't change, for him it will be very difficult in the future - for him, not me.

"Mario could stay with me one day, one month, five years. He is 22 years old. He needs to change. His problem is for himself.

"It is not easy to manage him and we can talk about him, but my thoughts about him don't change.

"What he did yesterday he can do also during the game - this is the problem, but I have faith, yes."

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