Mancini's yet another ugly bust-up with 'madcap' Balotelli leaves relationship on brink
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was involved in an ugly bust-up with Mario Balotelli after the Italian was pictured grappling with the eccentric forward following a wild lunge at team-mate Scott Sinclair during training on Thursday.
The incident is the latest in a long line of controversies involving the 22-year-old former Inter Milan striker and will only serve to harden City's resolve to sell Balotelli during the transfer window, the Telegraph reports.
Balotelli, who has previously been involved in clashes with Micah Richards and Jerome Boateng on the City training pitch, is understood to have triggered Mancini's fury by ignoring the manager's order to return to the dressing room following the challenge on Sinclair, it reported.
The pair then became embroiled in a heated exchange of words before Mancini grabbed Balotelli and attempted to force him off the pitch, the paper said.
Balotelli responded by shoving Mancini before coaches Brian Kidd and Massimo Battara separated the two Italian men, the paper added.
With Balotelli then returning to the dressing room, moments before training had been due to finish, Mancini retreated to the sidelines before being pictured squating, with his head in his hands, it further reported.
Mancini had previously shielded Balotelli, citing his ability and potential to be one of the world's leading players, but his patience has now worn thin as a result of his performances in games and during training this season, the paper added.