5 Jan 2013

Mancini plays down clash with Balotelli

9:21 am on 5 January 2013

Despite photographs of Roberto Mancini's latest clash with Mario Balotelli featuring on the front pages of Britain's tabloid newspapers on Friday, the Manchester City football manager does not believe the relationship between the two Italians is at breaking point.

Mancini was labelled "Madcini" in The Sun next to a photo of him grappling with Balotelli in training on Thursday while most papers reached the conclusion that Balotelli's troubled time at the English champions was up.

Yet Mancini has played down the training ground incident, saying reaction to it had been overblown.

Mancini says Mario made a tackle on his team mate that he would prefer to see in a game and not against a team mate.

He asked Balotelli to leave the pitch - "he said no so I moved him off. "That's all that happened and it was nothing more than that."