Mario Balotelli not surprised Manchester City sacked Roberto Mancini

The pair were close during their time together at the Etihad Stadium

Mario Balotelli is not surprised that Roberto Mancini was sacked by Manchester City because of internal problems between his former manager and the club.

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.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
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

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee