City striker Balotelli involved in training ground bust-up with furious Mancini
06:53 GMT, 29 March 2012
Mario Balotelli was involved in yet more controversy on Wednesday after he was involved in a training ground bust-up with manager Roberto Mancini.
The 24million Manchester City striker, who'd jetted in from Italy after bizarrely crashing an Inter Milan press conference on Tuesday, provoked an angry reaction from Mancini at the club's Carrington training ground.
Furious: City boss Mancini gives Balotelli a dressing down at the club's Carrington training ground
Balotelli received a severe dressing down from a furious Mancini in front of the stunned City squad, and was then apparently ordered to train on his own.
The Barclays Premier League title contenders dismissed the row as an example of the high standards set by Mancini, who himself provoked controversy at the weekend after refusing to speak to the media following City's 1-1 draw at Stoke.
But the training ground incident will fuel speculation that the Blues are feeling the heat in their bid to land their first top-flight title since 1968.
Blast: Mancini launched a 15-second assault on Balotelli before Attilio Lombardo orders the player away
Balotelli, who was fined 120,000 earlier this month after he was pictured outside a Liverpool strip club just 36 hours before City's clash with Bolton, has scored just four goals in his last 13 appearances.
And his latest controversy comes less than 24 hours after he interrupted the unveiling of new Inter Milan manager Andrea Stramaccioni.
The lonely road: Balotelli is pictured leaving the scene of his row with the Man City manager
The 21-year-old parked a red Ferrari outside the press briefing, burst in and for reasons still unknown simply shook hands with those behind the top table, wished the new manager luck, and left without so much as an explanation.
Inter CEO Ernesto Paolillo, who travelled to London with the NextGen-winning youth squad last week, said the visit from the City striker was unexpected but not unusual.
Centre of attention: The 24m striker left the tactics pitch to join a fitness training session
'He came to say hello to everybody at the training centre then left,' Paolillo told Sportsmail.
'We did not know he was coming but it's not the first time. It's typical of Mario. I see him sometimes when he comes to Milan.
He's at it again: Balotelli caused controversy on Tuesday after gatecrashing Inter Milan's press conference
'I did not see the Ferrari as I was inside the press conference unveiling our new coach Andrea. We kissed hello and he left. We had no time to speak. I've known him at Inter since he was a young boy.'
Balotelli and the rest of his City team-mates have been given a couple of days off by Mancini, who himself jetted to Europe where he was seen in Bosnia.