Premier League - Mancini 'lobbed luggage at Balotelli'

Sun, 20 Mar 10:10:00 2011

Roberto Mancini reportedly threw a suitcase at Mario Balotelli following his sending off and Manchester City's subsequent exit from the Europa League.

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Hot-headed striker Balotelli saw red in the mid-week clash with Dynamo Kiev for a reckless tackle on Goran Popov in the first half and Mancini so furious after the clash that he picked up one of the player's suitcases in the dressing room and flung it in the Italian's direction, according to the News of the World.

City backroom staff had to step in to diffuse the fight as Mancini yelled: "I don’t want to see your face again."

Mancini also worked with Balotelli at Internazionale before bringing him to Eastlands but appears to be running out of patience with his star striker.

"Mario is a young player but this is the time when he needs to start thinking with his head," Mancini said after Balotelli apologised to his manager.

"He needs to use his brain, if not he will find things very difficult. Firstly he is a fantastic player and his talent does not deserve this situation.

"Secondly he has let down the players, the squad and me because I trusted him 100 per cent. This is very difficult. At the moment he is not repaying my trust."

The Sport Star Sunday takes the story one step further with reports that Balotelli has been fined £300,000 by the club for his red card.

That's just about two week's wages for the stroppy Italian, then. Barely a drop in the ocean.

The News of the World (amongst other papers) also reports another player-manager bust up between England boss Fabio Capello and snubbed former captain Rio Ferdinand.

The Manchester United defender's relationship with Capello is apparently beyond repair as the Italian has still not spoken to him about the England captaincy, which has been handed back to John Terry.

Ferdinand was sat just seven rows in front of Capello at Old Trafford on Saturday, as 10-man United beat Bolton, but the Italian boss did not speak to him.

Nor did he talk to Ferdinand when they were at the same stadium for United's Champions League match with Marseille in mid-week.

"I tried to meet Rio at the Marseille game," Capello said. "I want to explain my decision. He was ready to meet me but preferred not to. I don’t know why. It's a question for him not me."

Ferdinand, out of action with a calf injury, watched United progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League from a private box, while Capello was in the directors' box with his number two Franco Baldini.

"Rio received a phone call from Baldini on Monday saying Fabio would see him the following evening," the News of the World quotes a source as saying.

"That is all he has heard from them. All the time Rio was at Old Trafford on Tuesday neither Capello, nor Baldini, nor anybody from the FA contacted him, even though they all knew where he was."

On to frivolous transfer rumour now and the News of the World reports that Liverpool will make a £10 million bid to sign Leighton Baines in the off-season.

Kop director of football Damien Comolli has reportedly identified the Everton man as their main target of the summer.

Kenny Dalglish, meanwhile, has decided that quality wingers are what Andy Carroll needs in order to produce his best football, and has set his sights on Aston Villa's Ashley Young (Sunday Mirror Sport).

Young has turned down a contract extension in Birmingham and with a year left on his contract, Villa are reportedly more keen on selling the England player this year than losing him as a free agent at the end of next season.

Dani Alves is again being linked to Manchester City (News of the World) after the Barcelona player failed to agree a new contract at the Nou Camp.

"I don't feel Barcelona have been doing their utmost to renew my contract," the 27-year-old fullback said.

"I want them to value me depending on my importance. If they do that, I'll be over the moon. If not, thanks for these years at the club."

Arsenal are set to step up their pursuit of Bolton defender Gary Cahill after interest from Manchester United and Tottenham (News of the World).

Gunners' boss Arsene Wenger was reportedly reluctant to spend the £15m asking price but now admits his defence needs shoring up for next season and is set to make a bid for the Trotters man in the summer transfer window.

Still at the Emirates, the Sport Star Sunday continues the long-running transfer saga of Cesc Fabregas with reports that Arsenal are prepared to let the Spaniard go to Barcelona, but only for £45m.

Arsenal turned down offers of £29m and £33m for their skipper last summer but have now settled on their asking price as they accept that Fabregas is keen to leave London.

Manchester United are in talks with Brazilian playmaker Douglas Costa about an £18m summer move (Sunday Mirror Sport).

The 20-year-old has been a key player in Shakhtar Donetsk's run to the last eight of the Champions League this season and is being looked at by Alex Ferguson as a like-for-like replacement for Paul Scholes.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is keeping an eye on Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini (Sport Star Sunday) with a view to snapping up the Italian when his contract runs out in the summer.

Spurs are also eyeing up Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Sport Star Sunday) with Schalke set to offer a swap deal in exchange for Niko Kranjcar.

Carlo Ancelotti is keen to bring Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo to Chelsea in the summer (Sport Star Sunday) and has been in touch with the 31-year-old.

Milan want Pirlo to take a pay-cut to stay at the Italian club and the Chelsea boss has already made enquires about the possibility of a move for Pirlo.


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