Aguero and Balotelli are 'going nowhere'

 

Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli both believe they will be at Manchester City next season.

The Argentinian forward said he planned to ignore advice from his father-in-law, Diego Maradona, that he should return to Spain to play for Real Madrid. Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, argued that despite all the anger directed at him by his manager, Roberto Mancini, he did not expect his client to go back to Italy in the summer.

Maradona had told Spanish radio that in his opinion Aguero had "made a mistake" in joining Manchester City last year, adding: "He has to play for Real Madrid."

However, in the wake of a sparkling performance that saw him score twice in the 4-0 rout of West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday that, taken with Manchester United's defeat at Wigan, sparked the title race back to life, Aguero saw no reason to become a galactico.

 

"No, it is not true I want to leave Manchester," he said. "It never has been true, actually, but newspapers do love to create stories. I am very happy here and I want to continue my career here. I have been lucky enough to have been well received at every club I have played for. It was the same at Independiente and then at Atletico Madrid and now here."

Raiola said that the relationship between Mancini and Balotelli - which seemed to have severed completely during the 1-0 defeat at Arsenal last Sunday when the striker was sent off - was reparable. Mancini had announced at the Emirates Stadium that he expected Balotelli to be sold in the summer and that he doubted he would play for Manchester City again.

However, in the aftermath of Wednesday night's victory, Mancini expressed his surprise that Balotelli had escaped the FA's censure for a dreadful tackle on Arsenal's Alex Song, saying he had anticipated a ban of "six or seven games". However, he added: "If he is available, he can play and he will be ready for the game with Manchester United but I haven't seen or spoken to him since Sunday."

He has, however, spoken to his agent. "There are no problems with the fans, certainly. I went to the stadium with him yesterday and everything was pretty calm," Raiola said. "Mancini told me his words about Mario had been taken out of context but that he had expected him to be banned for a very long time. There has been plenty of tension between them but it is much calmer now. Mancini told me of his hopes for Mario and we ironed out some problems.

"I don't think Manchester City have any intention of selling him. He wants to stay in England because it will be good for his career and, when he does come back to Italy, he will want to leave as a winner."

Raiola added that he would also be meeting Manchester United to discuss the future of Paul Pogba. The club's 19-year-old midfielder, hailed as a new Patrick Vieira, is said to be interested in a move to Juventus. "It is a decision which will affect the rest of his career," Raiola said. "He has got to take his time over it. Manchester United are putting a lot of pressure on him because they want him to renew his contract – but it all depends on what the boy wants."

The victory over West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United's unexpected loss at Wigan is likely to ensure that the derby is not the coronation it was expected to be. As he saw his lead slip away, Mancini argued that if City were within two points of United by the time the Manchester derby kicks off, the road to the title would still be open.

"I had the feeling they were losing because our supporters were giving us the message that Wigan had scored and were urging us on," said Aguero. "It was one of many happy things, but it is important now to go to Norwich and win. Football is strange but we have to go down our road and concentrate on that. When United come here, then we'll see."

Race for the title

P/W/D/L/F/A/Pts

Man Utd 33/25/4/4/78/28/79

Man City 33/23/5/5/79/26/74

Remaining fixtures

Man Utd Sunday Villa (h); 22 Apr Everton (h); 30 Apr Man City (a); 6 May Swansea (h); 13 May Sunderland (a)

Man City Saturday Norwich (a); 22 Apr Wolves (a); 30 Apr Man Utd (h); 6 May Newcastle (a); 13 May QPR (h)

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot