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The 22-year-old believes his fellow Italian is the best man for his his ex-team, suggesting the players want him to stay and that his record gives the club no reason to sack him

Former Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli has urged the Premier League side to stick with Roberto Mancini, stating that he has the backing of the players.

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The manager has come under fire due to the club's poor performance in the Champions League, where they finished bottom of their group, while they are also 12 points behind Manchester United at the top of the league table.

However, the controversial striker - who had his fair share of run-ins with his ex-boss - indicated that the 48-year-old is well-liked among the players and would be impossible to replace.

"There is nobody better for City," he was quoted as saying by The Sun. "Most importantly, the players like him.

"If you asked who they want next season, every single player would say Roberto. He's not just their coach but also their friend."

The 22-year-old, who left the Etihad Stadium for AC Milan in January, also believes his fellow Italian's record means he deserves more time at the helm.

He added: "Look at the success Roberto has had — the FA Cup and a first championship in over 40 years.

"Even Alex Ferguson does not win a trophy every year — but he always comes back."

City face Chelsea in their next Premier League match on Sunday, by which time they could be a massive 15 points behind rivals United, if Sir Alex Ferguson's men beat QPR on Saturday.

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