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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 26 February, 2020

Red and dead: Mancini admits that Balotelli may be offloaded by City

The Manchester City manager concedes that Mario is still a super person but would perhaps do better for the club by emigrating.

Mario Balotelli sees red after his late challenge on Bacary Sagna earned him a second caution
Mario Balotelli sees red after his late challenge on Bacary Sagna earned him a second caution
Image: Tim Hales/AP/Press Association Images

MARIO BALOTELLI MAY be looking for pastures new in the summer after Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini appeared to give up hope on the player.

The 21-year-old has become a figure of frustration at the Etihad Stadium as his discipline both on and off the field has often let down his manager and his team-mates at City.

The latest incident came in Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Arsenal when he was sent off for a second yellow card, meaning he will serve a ban of at least three matches.

Balotelli tread a fine line during the game as he grappled with Arsenal players and clattered into three challenges, including a nasty rake on Alex Song, with his studs raised.

A spate of destructive performances have led to reports of his exit from the club in the summer as the Italian coach was said to have finally lost patience with his fellow countryman. When asked if City plan to sell Balotelli at the end of the season, Mancini told reporters:

Probably. But I don’t know. It depends, because Balotelli is a fantastic player. I can continue to play with Mario on the pitch. Every time, we risk one sent off, like today. But he can score also in the last minute.

He added: “I love him as a guy, I love him as a player, because I know him. He’s not a bad guy. He’s a fantastic player.”

“But, at this moment, I’m very sorry for him because he continues to lose his talent, his quality. I hope, for him, that he can understand that he’s in a bad way for his future, and he can change his behaviour.”

Mancini also revealed he wants the Football Association to take further action against the striker following his horrendous tackle on Song, despite escaping unpunished by referee Martin Atkinson.

“From the bench, at first I didn’t see it but it was a bad tackle,” Mancini conceded. When asked if the FA should have a look at the incident and take disciplinary action, he said: “I hope.”

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As it happened: Arsenal v Manchester City, Premier League

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