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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Mancini challenges Balotelli to prove worth

Roberto Mancini insists Mario Balotelli still has a future at Manchester City, but has again challenged the forward to prove his commitment to the cause.

• Blog: A dish fit for a king

Balotelli has cut a frustrated and frustrating figure at Eastlands this season, with flashes of brilliance too often overshadowed by fits of pique.

On more than one occasion this season he has angered the club by trudging down the tunnel once substituted, rather than watching the game.

He has been linked with a return to Italy but despite all the unrest, Mancini feels Balotelli has a future at the club - if he wants it.

Mancini said in the Sun: "We need to have all the players this month as we have a lot of games in two weeks. Mario needs to train.

"I don't think he was happy about it on Saturday but, when he starts to show his quality, he will play again."

The Italy international was left out for the win at Newcastle and Mancini stressed it is up to his players to win him over. He said: "If a player like Mario is not performing then he will stay at home."

Balotelli was due to take City to a tribunal over a fine, but it is being reported club and player have settled their differences.

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