Football - Mancini cools Balotelli talk

Roberto Mancini has again insisted Mario Balotelli will not be leaving Premier League champions Manchester City despite persistent speculation linking him with AC Milan.

PA Sport

Various comments from figures at the San Siro, as well as numerous other reports from Italy, continue to suggest Balotelli could be heading back to his homeland before next week's transfer deadline.

But City boss Mancini has always maintained he is happy with the 22-year-old striker, despite a number of controversies, including a training-ground bust-up this month, and has no intention of selling.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani, who has issued regular statements about Balotelli, this week suggested a move was off because of City's reportedly high valuation of £28million. But that has merely led to fresh speculation that Milan now want to sign the Italy international on loan.

When asked about these latest reports, Mancini said at a press conference: "For two years, the first question always Mario! No, it is not true, Mario stays here. We didn't have any requests about Mario or other players."

Mancini also insisted the mercurial forward remains a big part of his plans. He said: "Yes, Mario has another three years on his contract."

Mancini was asked if all the rumours coming out of Italy could be having an unsettling effect on Balotelli. The 48-year-old suggested it was now part of his everyday life.

He said: "With Mario - every day we talk for everything. Sometimes there is some speculation about Mario."

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