Despite Roberto Mancini's public criticism of Mario Balotelli this weekend, voters still expect his Argentine team-mate to be shown the door first in the summer
Goal.com readers still believe that Carlos Tevez is the most likely player to leave Manchester City this summer, despite Roberto Mancini and Mario Balotelli's futures seemingly being in doubt.
After City's 3-3 draw with Sunderland at the weekend, manager Mancini criticised Balotelli, despite his two goals helping the club rescue a point, revealing that he had considered substituting the Italian during the first half.
"I thought this after five minutes but in the end he scored two goals," said the City boss.
“He didn’t play well. In a game like this the striker should be the difference, but not in the last two minutes.
“In the first half [he should] score two or three goals, because a player like Mario, like Dzeko should score two, three goals in a game like this. In this moment we need our strikers."
But Mancini's role at the club has also been called into question recently, after Manchester United moved five points clear of their rivals in the race for the title.
Goal.com asked readers to decide who they thought would most likely be shown the door in the summer and, while the Argentine came out on top, there were still some surprising results.
|CARLOS TEVEZ - 30.83%
Despite his return after a falling-out with Mancini over refusing to warm up in a Champions League group stage defeat to Bayern Munich, nearly a third of readers still expect Tevez to leave the club this summer.
|"With the introduction of Tevez, the whole atmosphere in the ground changed. It wasn’t so much what he was doing, but his mere presence provided a new sense of energy and optimism for a team that has been stuttering in recent weeks"
The forward has made three appearances as a substitute since the end of his exile and made an instant impact in his first game back against Chelsea, laying on an assist for Samir Nasri to score the winner.
But the Argentine's impact has been fairly limited since as his attempts to find full fitness continue.
It was initially suggested that Tevez would never play for City again after the row with Mancini, and the striker came close to a January exit as AC Milan attempted to sign the player, but could not come to an agreement over a fee.
And the majority of votes seem to suggest that readers think that the 28-year-old will still be leaving the club in the summer.
|ROBERTO MANCINI - 22.72%
City were looking comfortable at the top of the table not so long ago, but two defeats and two draws in their last 10 games have allowed rivals United to move five points clear.
And 22.72% of readers think that that blow to City's title chances could well cost the Italian his job in the summer.
As revealed by Goal.com in mid-March, the length of Mancini's stay at the Etihad Stadium will not be determined until the end of the season, by which time it will be clear whether or not the Italian has led the club to glory, or warrants a contract extension.
And, after an early exit from the Champions League and subsequent departure from the Europa League, as well as the failure to defend the FA Cup and being knocked out of the League Cup by eventual winners Liverpool, City could end the season empty-handed.
After an expensive summer outlay on player acquisitions, it may well be that a second-placed finish in the Premier League is simply not enough to guarantee Mancini another shot at the title at the Etihad Stadium.
|MARIO BALOTELLI - 21.23%
| PLAYER RATING
|7.0||Sparked anger amongst his team-mates and the fans after confronting his fellow players as they prepared to take a free kick. Redeemed himself near the end however, with a superb effort from just inside the box.|
And, since voicing his frustrations at the Italian at the weekend, Mancini has indicated that he will not wash his hands of the controversial forward.
Balotelli continues to divide opinion in the football world but is loved by City fans. His 17 strikes this season, which make him the third-highest goalscorer at the club behind Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko, are also testament to his quality.
But the petulant argument with Aleksandar Kolarov over who should take a free kick against Sunderland was the latest in a fairly long line of questionable moments in the enigmatic Italian's career.
Balotelli has been booked eight times and sent off once this season alone, while the striker received a retrospective ban for an apparant stamp on Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker, though both Mancini and the player protest his innocence.
|SERGIO AGUERO - 5.17%
After his largely excellent start to life in the Premier League, just 5.17% expect Sergio Aguero to leave City this summer, despite reported interest from Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, 10.38% of readers suggested that all four will remain at the club regardless of the moments of unrest throughout the season.
However, only slightly less - 9.67% - believe that Tevez, Mancini, Balotelli and Aguero will all leave the club this summer.