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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Mancini: Balotelli important to City owner

Roberto Mancini insists Mario Balotelli will remain at Manchester City well into the future due to club owner Sheikh Mansour recognising the Italian "was signed as a major investment".

Mario Balotelli has been urged to respect Roberto Mancini
Mario Balotelli seems destined to stay in Manchester

Balotelli has not yet hit peak form this season, scoring just three goals in all competitions. This has led to speculation the striker will depart the Premier League for Serie A giants AC Milan in January, but Mancini moved swiftly to clarify City’s stance on the matter.

"Sheikh Mansour likes Balotelli because he recognises the talent and he exports the name of City over the world," Mancini explained.

"We need to realise Mario was signed as a major investment and this is not a club that throws its capital through the window.

"I think Mario will stay but the future depends mostly on him."

The City manager also stressed that there is no problem between he and Balotelli, despite a dispute over a disciplinary fine incurred last month.

 "The relationship between me and him is always good," said Mancini.

"I love him because for many years we live together and I’ve seen him grow. But the professional relationship is another thing and I’ve told Mario what I need from him."

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