Roberto Mancini sorry to see Mario Balotelli go

 

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini will probably answer questions about Mario Balotelli for the last time as he meets media to preview Sunday's clash with Liverpool.

For the past two and a half years, Mancini's pre-match press conferences have regularly been dominated by talk of the controversial striker and his various misdemeanours.

That will soon no longer be the case after Mancini bade the 22-year-old a sad farewell earlier this week.

Balotelli is now an AC Milan player after completing a move reportedly worth £19million, rising to £22million.

Mancini worked hard to coax the best out of the enigmatic Italy international during his extraordinary, headline-grabbing spell at the Etihad Stadium but ultimately accepted a move was in everyone's interests.

"We are very sorry for him because he leaves the club but we hope Mario can continue to improve and continues to work hard because he is a top, top player," Mancini said.

Mancini will now attempt to draw a line under Balotelli's City career and look forward, starting with Liverpool's visit to the Barclays Premier League champions.

In truth - on recent evidence - Balotelli may not be greatly missed having scored just three goals all season, only one of them in the Premier League. He had also made only two substitute appearances since a dismal display in the derby loss to Manchester United on December 9.

Prior to Tuesday's goalless draw at QPR, City had been hitting their best form of the campaign with six successive wins in all competitions.

With no moves to sign a replacement for Balotelli before the transfer deadline, it is thought reserve striker John Guidetti could soon be promoted to the senior squad.

The 20-year-old Swede made a big impression on loan at Feyenoord last season but has missed most of this campaign with a leg injury caused by a virus.

He is now getting close to fitness and City reportedly turned down deadline-day approaches for the player from other clubs.

Meanwhile, Balotelli wasted little time settling into his new surroundings in Milan.

Balotelli formally signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with the Rossoneri in the morning and then made a goalscoring substitute appearance in a friendly against Darfo Boario.

Balotelli also had some kind words for his former club and manager.

He said: "I love Roberto. He has been very important for my career, and I will always thank him for having trust and faith in me.

"Being at City was an important part of my life and career. I needed to grow up like a player and as a person and it has been a very good experience for me."

Mancini is also expected to update on the fitness of captain Vincent Kompany, who is likely to miss the Liverpool game with the calf strain suffered in last week's FA Cup win at Stoke.

City did do some activity on deadline day, signing 18-year-old Ghanaian striker Godsway Donyoh from his country's Right to Dream Academy and immediately loaning him to Swedish club Djurgarden.

News
i100'Geography can be tough'
News
newsVideo targets undecided voters
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
businessHow bosses are inventing unusual ways of making us work harder
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis Stinchcombe, of Broad Plain Boys' Club in Bristol, by a Banksy artwork, titled 'Mobile Lovers', where the sale and handover have been completed at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, where it was on display to the public.
artHuge price will help to keep a 120-year-old youth club in Bristol open
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedy... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
Life and Style
Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat, dropped out of Stanford University just before graduation to develop his app
techAnd yes, it is quite a lot
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

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

Charles Dickens: A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins