Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini set the record straight. “I didn't turn down Juventus, nor did I tell off Mario Balotelli.”
The former Inter Coach has been repeatedly linked with a return to Serie A for Juve, but told Studio Sport that was only ever in the papers.
“I didn't turn down Juventus, quite simply because I was never asked. I want to stay at City to build a team, as it would be stupid to start all over again somewhere else.”
One of the stars at Eastlands is Italy international Balotelli, who is just as famous for his behaviour as his goals. There were even rumours of a training ground bust-up between the two ex-Inter men.
“Mario is a good lad, he makes mistakes and needs to grow up. It's not true that I tell him off. We simply talk a great deal. I often tell him that nothing can be taken for granted and he needs to prove that he deserves his place in the team.”
Mancio is one of several Italian tacticians in Britain, although Carlo Ancelotti could face the sack from Chelsea next week.
“Roman Abramovich would make a big mistake in sending Ancelotti away. He is one of the best managers in the world.
“I have been watching Serie A and congratulate Massimiliano Allegri on a very organised Milan side. It's great for the club to have focused on a young Coach.
“I also compliment Napoli, who like City have emerged from a long period of international anonymity.”
Mancini famously won the Scudetto with Sampdoria and was one of their ‘Goal Twins' with Gianluca Vialli, but the Blucerchiati end this season with relegation.
“It makes me very sad, because Samp get under your skin and you never forget this place. I still have the club in my heart.
“I think Giampaolo Pazzini's January sale was a huge mistake, as the sudden drop in quality was behind the slump.”
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