Agent says Mario Balotelli to stay at Man City

Agent says Mario Balotelli to stay at Man City

Published Apr. 12, 2012 4:40 p.m. ET

Mario Balotelli won't be leaving Manchester City in the offseason, according to the player's agent.

The Italian forward has had a rocky season at the Premier League club, being sent off twice for a total of four red cards since his move from Inter Milan in 2010 and creating numerous headlines off the field.

''I am in Manchester but not to talk about a transfer, just to talk to Mario and (manager Roberto) Mancini,'' agent Mino Raiola said Thursday in an interview with Sky Italia. ''There was a tense situation but everything is much calmer now.''

Balotelli was lucky to avoid further punishment for a studs-up challenge on Arsenal's Alex Song in City's 1-0 loss at Arsenal on Sunday, after the English Football Association ruled it could not take retrospective action.


The 21-year-old forward was later dismissed, however, and will serve another three-match ban. In the immediate aftermath of the match, Mancini indicated he was likely to sell him at the end of the season.

''There is no problem at all,'' Raiola said. ''I was at the stadium with him yesterday. The club is calm, even Roberto Mancini said his words about Mario were taken out of context. He said he expected a long ban and not to be able to use him again. The dust has calmed and everyone is more reasonable.

''Balotelli has to stay in England because it will be good for his career, and he has to leave as a winner. Of course he misses Italy and he doesn't want to end his career outside Italy, but City has no intention of letting Balotelli go. There is no talent like him, for his age, in the world. When he decides to return there will be a big battle, but now is not the time. It will be in one or two years, I don't know but not now.''