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Mancini surprised by Mario sale

Roberto Mancini feels Inter may have made a mistake in parting with Mario Balotelli as he tipped the Manchester City forward to become "the best Italian player there is".

Balotelli has had a mixed start to his career at Eastlands since his big-money summer move, with three goals, an injury and a red card to show for his four appearances for the club to date.

Mancini, though, is delighted with the signing and feels his former club may come to regret allowing him to move on.

"I wasn't at Inter for the last two years so I don't know what happened, but given that Mario could become the best Italian player there is then I probably wouldn't have let him go," Mancini told Max magazine. "I say probably.

"I love Balotelli. Sure, he's young and like all youngsters he makes mistakes, but I never get upset with him."

Mancini has faced criticism in England as City drew 0-0 with Manchester United and Birmingham in successive games, particularly due to the perceived over-reliance on defensive midfielders, but he remains confident that he can prove people wrong.

"They have a problem with me because I am Italian, because I have brought with me a different mentality," he said. "That'll stop in May when we start to win things."

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