Man City boss Roberto Mancini writes off Mario Balotelli bust-up as 'not important'

Last Updated: 04/01/13 9:27pm

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Roberto Mancini: Played down his bust-up with Mario Balotelli

Roberto Mancini: Played down his bust-up with Mario Balotelli

Roberto Mancini has dismissed his training-ground altercation with Mario Balotelli as "nothing special".

The Manchester City manager was pictured angrily confronting his striker during training on Thursday, raising new questions over Balotelli's future at the club.

But Mancini told a press conference Balotelli will not face disciplinary action and the incident will not spell the end of the 22-year-old's Eastlands career.

"We were playing a game and Mario kicked his team-mate. I told him to leave the pitch, he said 'no', and I took his shirt and pushed him from the pitch. That is what really happened - nothing special, no fight."
Roberto Mancini

He said: "We were playing a game and Mario kicked his team-mate. I told him to leave the pitch, he said 'no', and I took his shirt and pushed him from the pitch. That is what really happened - nothing special, no fight.

"These are things that can happen, usually between players. This was different because I wanted him to leave the pitch for what he did against another player."

Asked whether he would now look to sell Balotello, Mancini said: "No, no, no, no. This is not important - it doesn't change my thoughts on this.

"I will give him another 100 chances if possible, if I think he can change. I am here for this. Sometimes I am upset with him, but I give him another chance, sure. He is 22 and he can make a mistake."

Mancini has more often than not backed his fellow Italian despite a series of high-profile incidents - on and off the pitch - since the striker's 2010 arrival from Inter.

The manager did question Balotelli's future after a sending-off at Arsenal last season, but he was back in the fold by May and set up the Sergio Aguero goal which secured City's first league title since 1968.

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