Mercurial striker Mario Balotelli and manager Roberto Mancini had an altercation at Man City’s training ground. It’s not clear what happened from the BBC slideshow, though the pair grabbed one another and had to be physically separated and restrained. Some reports suggest Mancini was reprimanding Balotelli for a rough tackle on Scott Sinclair.
Tensions are high with Man United pulling away in the title race. Balotelli is Balotelli. Mancini was renowned for starting fights with teammates during a lengthy playing career at Sampdoria. If you had to choose a player and manager most likely to go at it, these would probably be the two.
Balotelli may be finished at Manchester City. The 22-year-old Italian is as talented, physically, as any player in the world. However, he was already out of favor over multiple incidents, making just seven starts in the EPL this season and scoring just one goal in 13 league appearances. This is far from Balotelli’s first scuffle on the training ground. Mancini, who brought Balotelli into the fold as a youth player when he was manager at Inter Milan, had been one of his defenders. It is hard to see him staying beyond this summer, but can Man City can get rid of him?
An exorbitant salary precludes Balotelli from almost every club. That’s before you factor in the ancillary cost of putting up with his antics. There is no logical option in England. In Italy, Juventus and Inter Milan won’t take him. AC Milan may not be able to afford him. In Spain, Jose Mourinho hates him and it is hard to see Barcelona putting up with him. Would PSG risk having Balo and Ibrahimovic in the same locker room?
[Photo via BBC]