• Premier League

Mancini rubbishes Balotelli exit talk

ESPN staff
November 16, 2012

Roberto Mancini has claimed Manchester City have no plans to bid for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and insisted Mario Balotelli remains firmly in his plans.

Newspaper reports on Thursday suggested City were weighing up a big for Suarez, which prompted a 'hands-off' warning from Reds boss Brendan Rodgers and later Suarez reaffirmed his commitment to the club.

Mancini claims to be happy with his striking options - Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Balotelli - and is not eyeing new blood in January.

"It is not true," he said. "We have a good team and we don't need to buy another player in January. We can't buy Suarez or another player because we had four strikers and Suarez plays for Liverpool."

The Suarez news followed on from reports about Mancini's own future, amid talk of a move to Monaco, and it would appear the Italian is far from happy with the speculation.

"For two weeks we talk about Monaco, after Guardiola, after another manager, now Suarez and Mario," said Mancini, who emerged for his press conference wearing a David Platt mask - having sent out his assistant at recent press conferences.

Balotelli's future has also been speculated upon, after he sat out the win over Tottenham, but he remains in Mancini's plans.

"Mario didn't play because it was my choice," Mancini said. "I have 20 players and if there are some players that don't work well, they don't deserve to play. There were other players that worked better than Mario and they deserve to go on the bench.

"If he doesn't work well, he doesn't play. Sometimes he plays well, sometimes not well but he is an important player for us."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.