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Oct 9, 2012

Marsh: City should sell Balotelli

Manchester City need to replace Mario Balotelli because the Italy striker is a "ticking time bomb", according to former City star Rodney Marsh.

• City linked with Falcao, Isco
• Platt unhappy with Balotelli

City manager Roberto Mancini has by and large tolerated Balotelli's off-the-field antics because the Italy forward was delivering on the field.

However, the 22-year-old has not scored a Premier League goal since March, and he walked off straight down the tunnel after being substituted during the 3-0 win over Sunderland on Saturday.

In his new column on Voice of Sport, City legend Marsh said: "I have seen [Balotelli] play for club and country two dozen times and one thing is certain, he is one of the most talented young footballers I've ever seen.

"He is also a ticking time bomb. Once again, when substituted last weekend he stormed down the tunnel looking like a bulldog chewing a wasp.

"Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all look very strong again this term and it's going down to the wire again. The big question is will Mad Mario be a net plus or a net minus for City.

"As much as I love him my view is get rid and sign a new player in the window. In the meantime Edin Dzeko, Carlos Tevez, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero are all big enough to share the goal scoring load."

One of the players who could potentially replace Balotelli at the Etihad Stadium is Colombia striker Radamel Falcao.

In contrast to Balotelli, Falcao has picked up where he left off last season for Atletico Madrid, scoring 11 goals in just seven appearances so far this term. That haul included an impressive first-half hat-trick in the European Super Cup win over Chelsea back in August.

Mancini was in the Spanish capital on Sunday to see Falcao score the opener in Atletico's 2-1 win over Malaga which sent the Rojiblancos up to second in La Liga, fuelling speculation that the Premier League champions may launch a bid for the £45 million-rated striker in the near future.

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