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Gloves off for Balotelli and Mancini

04/01/13 07:26 CET

Could Manchester City’s controversial striker Mario Balotelli have secured his exit from the English Premier League champions after appearing to be involved in a bust up with coach Roberto Mancini at the club’s training ground?

Pictures were published of the pair at the Carrington training ground in what appeared to be a physical scuffle that required staff and other players to break up.

The 22-year-old Italian international has been involved in a series of controversies since his move from Inter Milan in 2010.

However Mancini played down the training ground incident on Friday, saying reaction to it had been overblown.

“Mario made a tackle on his team mate that I would prefer to see in a game and not against a team mate,” Mancini told reporters. “I asked him to leave the pitch – he said no so I moved him off.

“That’s all that happened and it was nothing more than that.”

When asked whether the Italy international still has a future at the club, Mancini said: “Nothing has changed between Mario and me and my thoughts have not changed about him and these things happen from time to time.”

“Will Mario have more chances? I will give him 100 chances as long as I can see him trying to improve and working hard for this football club,” he added.

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