Mancini not fazed by Balotelli comments

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini insists he has no problem with Mario Balotelli's liking for stirring controversy.

The outspoken Balotelli was at it again this week, declaring in an interview with new Italian newspaper Extra Time, that he was part of the best strike force in the world and that Wayne Rooney was not even the number one forward in Manchester.



Maybe it was not the wisest comment from a player who is again sidelined with a knee injury.



But Mancini remains unconcerned.



"I haven't read the interview so I don't know what he has said. But he likes to joke sometimes and these things are jokes.



"We live in a free world. If someone wants to say something, it is better that he does. I respect every opinion.



"We are not in a war. We are free to say what we want."



Balotelli is currently in the United States stepping up his rehabilitation work on the injury he sustained over Christmas.



It could be another month before the Italian is in action again, when Mancini would like to see him perform to his potential on a regular basis.



"He is continuing to work and maybe he can come back to play in three or four weeks," he said.



"It is important he shows his talent here. For his future it is important for him to improve and this is the best championship in the world."







Meanwhile, Mancini reported there had been no progress with any of the potential departures from Eastlands this month.

Balotelli's impending return to fitness does make it more likely Emmanuel Adebayor will leave.



But a number of English options are unlikely to hold much appeal for the former Arsenal star and Real Madrid remain the most likely destination, with coach Jose Mourinho apparently keen for Adebayor to replace Gonzalo Higuain, who could miss the remainder of the season following back surgery.



Fulham have also expressed definite interest in Shaun Wright-Phillips, although City are looking to ensure there is some commitment to a permanent transfer before they will allow the winger to link up again with old boss Mark Hughes.



Brazilian striker Jo has also attracted interest from Birmingham, although with Alex McLeish only looking for a loan deal that move would appear to be a non-starter.



"We have another 10 days," said Mancini.



"It is possible something could happen but at the moment there has been no progress."



The City boss did not entirely rule out the possibility of further purchases, even though club officials have cautioned against it.



However, Mancini has ruled out an imminent move for 17-year-old Anderlecht sensation Romelu Lukaku.



"Lukaku is a good player and he is young," said Mancini.



"Maybe in the future something will happen but at this moment, no."

News
David Beckham
peopleFootballer joins No campaign
Sport
Angel Di Maria
Football
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
film
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
News
newsIn short, yes
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

Arts and Entertainment
art
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
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

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories