Paper Round: City stars blame Balotelli for slump

City stars blame Balotelli


The Italian scored twice in City's 3-3 draw with Sunderland at the weekend but was also involved in an on-the-pitch bust-up with Aleksandar Kolarov over who should take a free-kick.

That's not where the feuding ended either according to the Daily Star who claim he was also involved in a dressing room fight with Yaya Toure.

The paper says that the duo had to be pulled apart by Yaya's brother Kolo after the fight was initiated by Balotelli.

The Star says: "Balotelli is said to have taken exception to the midfielder’s criticism about his behaviour in the game, which saw the Italian hothead involved in an embarrassing row with Aleksandar Kolarov over who was taking a second-half free-kick."

The Sun claims that the City camp is close to revolt over Balotelli with the players said to be furious with manager Roberto Mancini too for putting up with his erratic behaviour.

A source told the paper: "Mario is starting to get on some of the players' nerves.

"He can be a really great character but he seems to think he can live by a different set of rules.

"It isn't good for team spirit when he gets into that place where it really is all about him."

The Times meanwhile suggests that City are at the stage now where they would consider selling Balotelli saying: "While City are not actively pursuing a sale of the 21-year-old, it is understood the club are now prepared to listen to serious offers for Balotelli."

Another young and divisive striker competes with Balotelli for column inches in Monday's papers and that is Liverpool's Andy Carroll whose reaction to being substituted at Newcastle on Sunday was picked up on by all the papers.

Carroll is reported to have said: "It's a f****** joke, f*** off " to Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish after being taken off before disappearing down the tunnel while ripping off his shirt.

Earlier in the game he is alleged to have said: "I did not dive, you f****** c***," to Newcastle boss Alan Pardew who had accused the striker of diving to try and win a penalty – an incident that saw Carroll booked.

Dalglish also gets some heat from the papers with the Daily Mail's backpage spread asking rhetorically: "Now 11 points behind Newcastle and one place below Everton, this is Liverpool's worst run of league results for 59 years….STILL KING, KENNY?"

Finally to some rapid fire transfer speculation: Arsenal target Yann M'Vila admits he would like to work with Arsene Wenger. The £22million-rated Rennes midfielder said he would be interested in a move to the Emirates although he is also wanted by Real Madrid. (The Sun)

Fulham's attacking midfielder Clint Dempsey has been offered a two-year contract extension at Craven Cottage. (Daily Mail)

Aston Villa are ready to offer Joe Cole the chance to revive his Premier League career, the Liverpool owned player has spent the season on loan with French club Lille. (Daily Star)

Everton are in talks over bringing Tottenham's Steven Pienaar back to Goodison Park on a permanent transfer. (The Sun).

And finally, Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is ready to make a £2.5million bid for Aston Villa full-back Stephen Warnock. (The Sun)

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