Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

City play down Balotelli speculation

Mario Balotelli is being linked with a move away from Manchester City

Manchester City have continued to play down speculation that striker Mario Balotelli could leave the club for AC Milan.

City manager Roberto Mancini has consistently said his fellow Italian is not for sale throughout this month's transfer window but that has not quashed rumours linking him with the San Siro giants.

Fresh reports have emerged claiming negotiations between the clubs have begun, but City first-team coach David Platt said: "I saw that speculation yesterday but I've not heard anything. As far as we are concerned I think he is still a Manchester City player. I don't think there is anything is going to happen."

Platt was speaking on Mancini's behalf at a press conference to preview City's Barclays Premier League trip to QPR.

Mancini was equally forthright on the Balotelli subject when asked when he last met the press last week.

Mancini said: "No, it is not true, Mario stays here. We didn't have any requests about Mario or other players."

Balotelli has been involved in a number of high-profile controversies on and off the field during his time at City, including a training-ground bust-up with Mancini this month.

But Mancini said he remains part of his long-term plans.

He said: "Yes, Mario has another three years on his contract."

And Platt claims that situation has not changed, saying: "I can only go off what you know and I have seen. I know exactly the same as you, which is speculation. It's a shame Robbie's not here. He might know more than me."

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