Balotelli wants to stay at Man City despite playing peripheral role at club
Mario Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola has claimed the Italian striker wants to stay at the club despite playing an increasingly peripheral role at the club, culminating in being left out of the squad for Sunday's win against Tottenham Hotspurs.
Balotelli is still waiting for his first league goal of the season and watched the Spurs game from the stands after being informed his current form did not even warrant a place among Roberto Mancini's substitutes.
The 25.5 million pound signing has frequently found him out of the team, and in 2012 he has started only 11 league matches, but this was the first time he had not even made the bench purely because of his form.
But the message from the player's camp was clear that he wants to stay at the club till his contract ends.
"He doesn't want to leave. There's no player who is ever happy with not playing in a game, but he accepts it. It's all part of the game," the Guardian quoted Riola, as saying.
From City's perspective, there is clear frustration behind the scenes that a player who was recently nominated for the Ballon d'Or has done very little to justify it for his club, exacerbated by all the baggage that he tends to bring.
Balotelli, however, remains convinced he can establish himself in Mancini's team on a more permanent basis and Raiola dismissed the latest reports about a possible move back to Italy.
"There is no [transfer to] Italy and no plans to go there," Raiola said.
"He'll work until the end of his contract. It [Sunday] doesn't mean he wants to leave Manchester," he added.