Cesare Prandelli backs Roberto Mancini's handling of Mario Balotelli at Man City

Mario Balotelli: Told to listen to Roberto Mancini by Cesare Prandelli

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Cesare Prandelli has urged Mario Balotelli to start listening to Roberto Mancini and does not believe a return to Italy is the answer to the striker's problems.

Balotelli has played only a minor role at Manchester City this season and faces competition for a starting role from the likes of Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko, while he will this week go before a Premier League tribunal as he fights a fine imposed by Manchester City.

Italy boss Prandelli is understandably keen for Balotelli to play regularly and is aware of reports linking the 22-year-old with a move back to Serie A.

But Prandelli thinks the best thing he could do is take on board the advice of Mancini, who has repeatedly told Balotelli to take on more responsibility and improve his mentality.

"Mancini is completely right: Balotelli really has to start listening to him. I'm with Mancini on this."

Cesare Prandelli

"Mancini is completely right: Balotelli really has to start listening to him. I'm with Mancini on this," Prandelli told Rai Sport.

"Now, everything depends on Mario. All a coach can do is try to motivate and encourage him. The desire has got to come from within the player.

"Would coming back to play in Italy help Balotelli? The most important thing is that he can start to play with continuity - it's not a question of in which city or in which country."