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Boss backs striker after mixed first season in England

Roberto Mancini has revealed that Manchester City will not sell star striker Mario Balotelli despite his recent problems at Eastlands.

The Italian has had a mixed time this season with good performances, such as a hat-trick against Aston Villa, overshadowed by moments of madness like his sending off against Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League.

He has also had his fair share of injury problems since arriving from Inter Milan last summer for £24 million, missing much of the early season with a knee problem, and has been persistently linked with a return to Serie A with AC Milan.

Mancini told Il Giorno: "The problem is that it's written that the Rossoneri want him and that there's an agreement, it creates confusion and tension.

"I personally don't mind, but it's unlikely that City will sell their good players.

"Mario was very unfortunate with his knee problems. But, if he wants, he's in a position to change himself in games, but it depends on him."

The Italian has made 21 appearances for City this season, scoring 10 goals.

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