Raiola: Balotelli staying put

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Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli will stay at the Etihad Stadium this summer, despite his recent on the field troubles.

Balotelli was sent off for two bookable offences against Arenal last weekend, but due to his dismissal against Liverpool and retrospective ban following his stamp on Scott Parker in January, the Italian will serve a three-game ban.

The incident is the latest in a long-line of damaging headlines created by Balotelli, leading manager Roberto Mancini to claim he will probably sell the striker, something that is refuted by his agent.

“I’m in Manchester but it has nothing to do with the transfer market. There is no intention by City to sell the player," his agent Mino Raiola said.

“He (Balotelli) has always stated that he is happy in Manchester and finding his balance.

“Of course, that balance is lost when things don’t go well.”

Balotelli has since apologised for his actions against the Gunners, which also included a knee-high tackle on Alex Song which went unpunished by referee Martin Atkinson, and then by the Football Association, who refused to take retrospective action.

A further ban could have seen Balotelli's punishment rise to nine-matches with a violent conduct charge carrying a three-match suspension, plus his three previous indiscretions.

The 21-year-old has previously flirted with the idea of returning to italy, but Raiola, who refuses to rule out a move back to is homeland in the future, maintains Balotelli's immediate future lies in England.

“City have no intention of selling him – on the contrary, they want to grow together," he added.

“I think that once Mario decides to return to Italy, there will be a big derby for his services.

“But right now is not the time, perhaps in one or two years’ time.

“Mario has to grow and he will do so in Manchester.”

Manchester City
Premier League
Mario Balotelli
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