Following Mario Balotelli's red card in Manchester City's 2 – 0 defeat against Arsenal last Sunday (April 8), the striker has now been forced to apologise for his actions after City manager Roberto Mancini threatened to axe him from the team for the duration of this season before selling him in the summer.
Mancini's threat came after Balotelli targetted Arsenal's Bacary Sagna and Alex Song in a haphazard 90-minutes of football, thrusting the studs on his boots into the shin of Song in what could have been a crippling injury.
Balotelli's vicious performance on the pitch led Mancini to say in a post-match interview that he would play in none of City's remaining League games and would "probably" be sold when the transfer window opens again. But 21-year-old Balotelli looks to capitalise on the same lenient management style that led to Mancini controversially re-recruiting Carlos Tevez to the club's first-team, issuing what could only be perceived as an insincere apology a mere 2 days after he disappointed City fans with his volatile and unwarranted behaviour.
"I’m really sorry for what happened and for the disappointment I’ve caused Man City, particularly Roberto Mancini for whom I have a great respect and whom I love," said the Italian. “As for my future, we will see at the end of the season. I’ll talk with the club and we will see.”
As it currently stands Balotelli will be hit with a three-match ban, but could be considered for the final three games of the season if the FA does not impose an extended ban for his lunge on Song. However, if Balotelli is charged with violent conduct, this incident would then be treated as his fourth sending-off of the season, thus banning him for a further three games.
Balotelli travelled to Carrington Stadium for a warm-down on Monday (April 9) and afterwards his agent Mino Raiola insisted that he wanted to stay at the club, saying: “I talked with Balotelli, the boy was sorry for what happened. I heard Roberto and I can guarantee that the intention is not to sell him. Maybe he said those things because a defeat is hard to swallow.
"I think there was a misunderstanding. Roberto told me that it meant that the FA would take serious measures that will prevent Balotelli to play. Mario’s intention is to remain in England and he has a contract with City.”
Mancini wasn't the only employer of Balotelli who criticised his actions on Sunday, with Italy coach Cesare Prandelli also saying that he would review the replay of the game before deciding "whether or not to apply the code of ethics" for the striker.
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