x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Balotelli and Manchester City draw line over fresh dispute

Player revokes appeal and accepts fine but relations with Mancini still sour.

Mario Balotelli has a troubled past with Manchester City.
Mario Balotelli has a troubled past with Manchester City.

Mario Balotelli has accepted a fine of two weeks' wages from Manchester City after withdrawing his appeal against disciplinary action taken by the English Premier League champions, the club said yesterday.

The Italian striker, who was fined by City after a series of misdemeanours on and off the pitch last season, had been due to have his case heard by a Premier League panel, but the hearing was cancelled.

"After amicable talks between the parties, as a sign of respect for [the coach] Roberto Mancini, the supporters and the club, Mario Balotelli has chosen to accept a two-week fine levied upon him by the club and withdraw his disciplinary appeal," a City statement said.

"Mario remains available for selection for all forthcoming fixtures."

Despite the 22 year old's decision to end his dispute and agree to the fine, his relationship with the club and his coach appears damaged.

The player, who Jose Mourinho, his manager at Inter Milan, once described as "unmanageable" was left out of the City squad against Newcastle United last weekend after being hauled off in the defeat by Manchester United the week before.

While he has occasionally justified the faith Mancini showed when signing him from Inter for €22 million (Dh107.2) in 2010, Balotelli's goals have been overshadowed by rash tackles, tantrums and bizarre off-the-field antics such as setting fire to his house after letting off fireworks in his bathroom.

Balotelli has managed just one Premier League goal this season, although Mancini has continued to support him, playing down suggestions the Italy international may leave the Premier League champions in January.

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