Premier League

Balotelli not surprised by exit

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Wed, 15 May 2013 18:53:00

Birmingham have taken a look at Matt Green on trial but Mansfield Town are hopeful that he will stay at Field Mill.

Blues boss Lee Clark is keen to bolster his attacking options this summer and has identified Green as somebody he wants to look at more closely.

The 26-year-old has scored 57 goals in the past two seasons and has helped the Stags clinch promotion back to the Premier League, so Mansfield boss Paul Cox is not keen to let him go.

"I am planning for the worst-case scenario," Cox said in the Birmingham Mail.

"He's been on trial at Birmingham for a week or so, but nothing has happened there for him yet so we are still hopeful.

"I would love to work with Matt next season - I love the kid to bits. But he has a family to look after and I am sure he will give his decision a lot of thought.

"If he does go to a bigger club, we are pleased we have had a say in it."

Balotelli, who was signed by Mancini for City before being sold to AC Milan in January, insisted his fellow Italian is a "great manager".

Mancini was sacked by City on Monday after his team failed to meet targets laid down by the owners and is expected to be succeeded by Manuel Pellegrini, currently at Malaga.

Asked about Mancini being sacked, Balotelli told CNN: "I am not really surprised but when I was with him he was a great manager and we had one of the best teams I have played with, the best players.

"I don't know why they didn't win. But obviously there were some problems inside. I am here [Milan] so I don't know."

City said on Monday that Mancini had been sacked after failing to meet all "stated targets" apart from qualifying for next season's Champions League.

The club added: "This, combined with an identified need to develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the club, has meant that the decision has been taken to find a new manager for the 2013-14 season and beyond."

Reports in Spain today said Malaga have opened the way for Pellegrini, whose representatives have already held talks with City, to move on at the end of the season.

The Malaga Hoy newspaper said the Qatari-owned Spanish club has waived the release fee in the Chilean's contract which would allow him to leave when it expires on July 1, and that he has already agreed a two-year deal with City.

However the club are unlikely to announce any appointment before next week's short end-of-season tour to the USA where Brian Kidd will remain in charge of the team.

A Malaga spokesman told the BBC no announcement would be made until the club's domestic season was concluded.

He said: "There remain some fixtures to qualify for the Europa League, so in this moment, officially, we are not saying anything.

"The club has not communicated anything about this. I am not saying [the article] is true or false, I am just saying that the club officially has not said anything.

"I think that other clubs, Manchester City or whatever other club, have finished their season but Malaga has not finished their season."

Meanwhile, it is understood City are continuing to monitor Napoli's striker Edinson Cavani despite the Uruguayan being linked with both Paris St Germain and Chelsea.

Cavani will not come cheap - a fee of 50million euros (?42million) is needed to trigger the release clause in his contract with the Serie A club.

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