Man City’s Mancini hopes ‘this year will be different’ with Balotelli

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini hopes for a better year working with Mario Balotelli, insisting the striker won't be leaving

mario balotelli
Balotelli scored two goals for City's Under-21 side midweek Photo: Kelvin Gillmor

mario balotelli

Roberto Mancini admits he hopes that “this year will be different” with Mario Balotelli amid interest in the Manchester City striker from Serie A.

The 22-year-old’s future at the Premier League champions has been a source of constant speculation this season, with the Italian playing a bit-part role in City’s campaign.

Balotelli was pictured clashing with Mancini at the club’s training ground last week but the Citizens manager played down the incident.

Mancini, who took charge at the Eastlands outfit in 2009, insisted there are no lingering issues with the striker, with Balotelli scoring twice for City’s Under-21 side in a 4-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers earlier this week.

“No, it is not true. I am very, very happy [with Mario],” he said.

“Next question! No, I hope. He went with the under-21s because he needed a game. After 40 days without a game, he needed one game. He trained well and I hope this year will be different.”

Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri, whose side are currently in third place in Serie A, expressed an interest in working with the former Internazionale striker on Thursday.

“Only those who know him well can say what kind of problems he might create in training,” Mazzarri told La Repubblica.

“I’ve got a bit of experience, though, and it would be stimulating to work with a talent like his.”

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