Manchester City news

Balotelli: I won't leave City in summer

April 17, 2012
By ESPN staff

Controversial Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli has insisted that he has no intention of leaving the club in the summer, while expressing his admiration for current manager Roberto Mancini.

Roberto Mancini has had words with Mario Balotelli
GettyImagesRoberto Mancini has had words with Mario Balotelli

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Balotelli's future is never far from the agenda, but came sharply into focus after his latest indiscretion - a sending off in a dismal performance against Arsenal that left Mancini, usually his staunchest defender, acknowledging that he could be offloaded at the end of the campaign.

The Italian quickly retracted that statement, and Balotelli has now also moved to dismiss speculation linking him with a return to Italy at the next available opportunity.

"My future? Why do you always talk of Inter and Milan for me? I'm at City and I have no intention of changing shirt," Balotelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Now I am just thinking about winning the title because I am sure that United will make mistakes.

"Certainly in the match with us, then, who knows.

"[Inter owner Massimo] Moratti always speaks well of me. I enjoy it, he has known me since I was 15. I thank him for that, but I am now at Manchester City and I see no other possibilities."

Balotelli admits that moving to England has been a challenging experience for him in a number of ways, but he feels working under Mancini is the best possible situation for him to be in.

"When I was at Inter Milan I called my mother to solve every little problem. Now I have to go it alone," he noted. "First of all I need to improve as a player. I am lucky to work with Mancini. He's one of the best coaches in the world, maybe the best.

"After my red card against Arsenal he feared a long ban so he spoke about me with some harsh words.

"But we have explained things to each other. I know he believes in me, as he always has done."

Balotelli's antics - both on and off the pitch - have led some to suggest he needs psychiatric help but the 20-year-old gave such ideas short shrift, saying instead that he felt misrepresented in the media and hoped over time they would begin to judge him only on his football.

"A psychologist for me? I believe psychologists are important. Sometimes they can be very useful, but I don't need one of them," he said. "Every day there is an exaggeration about me and I would like it to stop. I want to be judged for what I do on the field.

"I am a shy and simple guy. I like to have fun with my friends and I always try not to bother anyone."