Manchester City coach Attilio Lombardo on Mario Balotelli: He needs a slap, not a tutor

Former Crystal Palace midfielder also adds City boss Mancini would like "200 Tevezs" and claims relationship between the manager and star striker are "pure"
Attilio Lombardo has claimed that hot headed Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli needs a "slap" after a season that has seen more headlines for the youngster off the pitch than on it.

The 20-year-old has scored 10 goals in 25 games since his summer switch from Inter, but has suffered with injuries and misdemeanours, including driving into a female prison and reportedly throwing darts at academy players.

And the City coach believes the youngster will improve if he listens to the advice dealt out to him.

"We knew he was a little temperamental, but he does not need a tutor. He listens to advice, then his life is his life," Lombardo told Tuttosport.

"He is young still, but a 'slap' would serve him well. Roberto has known him a long time and we must not forget Balotelli's rise in football. He became a great player instantly."

Carlos Tevez has been tipped to leave the club, but Lombardo insists the striker's relationship with Mancini is a good one.

"Their relationship is pure and the esteem is reciprocal which is why they tell each other everything. They had a rift, but the stories of fighting are invented. Mancini would love to have 200 Tevez's."

The former Juve midfielder stressed, however, that both he and Mancini were happy with life at City amid reports of return to Italy: "Roberto does not speak about these things. We are [both] happy in Manchester. The intention is to win here, but I would follow him wherever he goes.

"Juventus are a great club and it would be hard to say no. But, as things are now, the thoughts are to move further away from Tottenham in the Premier [League] and win the [FA] cup."

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