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Jan 3, 2013

'Balotelli in Mancini bust-up'

Roberto Mancini and Mario Balotelli have seemingly been photographed amid a training ground bust-up, putting the striker's future at Manchester City in further doubt.

• Bennett: Mario v. Mancini
• Curtis: Transfer list or team sheet

The photographs, posted on the Daily Mail website, appear to show the Italians confronting one another, with the newspaper reporting the dispute was sparked by an over-zealous challenge from Balotelli on Scott Sinclair.

The incident occurred as City prepare for their FA Cup third round tie against Watford, with the Manchester Evening News also reporting that the clash came about as "Mancini reacted furiously to the challenge and chastised Balotelli".

Balotelli, 22, has regularly been in the spotlight since his transfer to City from Inter Milan for £22 million in 2010, with the forward recently dropping his appeal against a two-week fine imposed upon him by the club.

The Italy international had taken the Premier League champions to a tribunal after they handed him a fine reported to be worth £340,000. His lawyers were set to present their case before an agreement between club and player was met.

Balotelli has scored 20 goals in 53 Premier League matches for City, but his future has been the subject of conjecture, with Mancini claiming he would unlikely play again for the club after he was sent off against Arsenal last season.

But the striker returned to the squad towards the end of the campaign and played a part in City clinching the title as he assisted Sergio Aguero's dramatic winner versus Queens Park Rangers.

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