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Ligue 1 leaders eye maverick striker.
Paris Saint-Germain are preparing a sensational January bid for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.
The 22-year-old has fallen out of favour at City in recent weeks, and has not started for the Etihad Stadium outfit since their disappointing 0-0 draw with West Ham at the start of November.
The striker was not part of City’s squad that hammered Aston Villa 5-0 on Saturday due to injury, and he hit the headlines last week after being left out of the squad for his side’s victory over Tottenham for having a poor attitude in training.
“I told him this was the reason – because he didn’t work well for three days,” said Mancini on Friday.
“I think Mario needs to work harder. If any player doesn’t work hard it is difficult that he can play at this level. What you do in training you do in the game, and every player needs to work hard to improve his performance in the training sessions. After that he can play well in the game.”
The news that mega-bucks French club PSG are plotting a January bid for Mario Balotelli might well be met with mixed feelings by Man City boss Roberto Mancini.
On the one hand, Mancini clearly rates his compatriot, who has had more second chances at City than Mancini’s had pasta lunches. The pair were even described as having a husband/wife relationship by Balotelli’s agent last week.
Few managers would have been as patience with Balotelli’s obvious eccentricities as Mancini has and their partnership is far more resemblant of loving father and difficult son than a cantankerous married couple.
That said, if Balotelli is looking to leave the Etihad, Mancini could be forgiven for being pleased that PSG are among the interested parties.
The Ligue 1 outfit have petrodollars to spend and would likely offer City over and above the £22m they paid Inter for the 22-year-old two years ago.
A big bid from PSG should free up funds and a space in the squad to pursue Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao, who has admirers at the Etihad but is also wanted by Chelsea.
If Balotelli does move to the Parc des Princes, he would partner ex-AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic at PSG, meaning the Ligue 1 outfit would surely boast the most unpredictable, petulant, arrogant but talented strike force in world football. Now that would be good to watch.
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