Transfers

Mancini: Balotelli staying at City

May 15, 2012
By ESPN staff

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has declared Mario Balotelli is staying at the club.

City fans invade the pitch at Eastlands at the final whistle
PA PhotosCity fans invade the pitch at Eastlands at the final whistle

• Mancini: Balotelli could be sold

Balotelli, 21, has been linked with a move away from newly-crowned Premier League champions City, with Mancini admitting after his sending off in last month's defeat at Arsenal he would "probably" sell him.

Reports in Italy have suggested the forward could head to AC Milan this summer in a swap deal which would bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the Etihad, but Mancini has insisted he is going nowhere.

"Ibra is a great player but I don't think Milan want to sell him,'' Mancini told Gazzetta dell Sport. "I'm going to be honest, we haven't looked at the market yet.

"In the last five weeks our only focus has been the league. Mario has been very clear and I reiterate: Balotelli will remain at Manchester 101%.''

Balotelli, who set up Sergio Aguero for the 94th-minute winner against QPR which earned City their first league title since 1968 on Sunday, has been included in Italy's preliminary squad for the Euro 2012.

"I am confident he will have a great European championship,'' Mancini said. "I hope Mario will be the leader of the national team because he is the best Italian striker. He just needs to make his brain work. That is his only problem.''

The Italy international joined City from Inter Milan for £24 million in August 2010 and is under contract until June 2015.