MARIO BALOTELLI AND Roberto Mancini have been involved in a bust-up at Manchester City’s training ground today.
According to reports, Balotelli had to be restrained by members of staff after clashing with Mancini, as the club prepared for their FA Cup game with Watford at the weekend.
The incident was reportedly prompted by Balotelli’s badly timed tackle on team-mate Scott Sinclair during a practice match.
A witness told the Manchester Evening News:
“Mancini ran at him – he was furious.
“He grabbed hold of him and appeared to try and throw him on the floor.
“It looked like Mario was too strong and he couldn’t get him down.
“Then all the coaches ran in to separate them but Mancini was having none of it.
“He kept trying to break free and have a go at him again.”
Balotelli is understood to have left the training ground less than ten minutes after the incident, which is likely to raise further questions about his future at the club.
The fight comes after former Inter Milan colleague Zlatan Ibrahimovic praised Balotelli’s character and suggested he could be the difference in the Premier League title race.
“If you ever spend any time with Mario then you love Mario,” Ibrahimovic told the Daily Mail.
“Even though he is not always the easiest player for the coach to manage, speak to any of his old coaches like Jose (Mourinho) and they will tell you when you work with Mario you always have a smile on your face.
“He is a special player and a special talent. When Mario plays like he can he will hurt any team in the world.
“Manchester City are already a way behind Manchester United in the Premier League – but if any player can retain the title for them it is Mario.
“All the class that Manchester City have I would still say Mario is the most capable.”
However, the Swede conceded that the Italian striker can be difficult at times.
“I tried to help Mario because it is true he does sometimes make decisions in the moment – but that is his personality.
“Roberto will know the same as me that the way to get the best out of Mario is to love him.
“That is what he will react best to – and if they can get Mario playing at his best then Manchester City still have a big chance.”