Here's an early Christmas present, City fans: Balotelli avoids daddy of all rows with Mancini by NOT asking for paternity leave
12:36 GMT, 6 November 2012
Manchester City have denied that striker Mario Balotelli will take two weeks' paternity leave over Christmas.
The Italian's model girlfriend Raffaella Fico is due to give birth on Christmas Day and it had appeared that Balotelli could be
heading for another row with Roberto Mancini if he decided he wants to
be at home in Italy when his baby is born during the busy festive period.
However, City said the club has checked with its human resource department, coaching staff and the 22-year-old's representatives.
A spokesman said: 'No request relating to paternity leave has been made by the player/his representative or received by the club.'
Row averted: Balotelli has not asked to be in Italy over Christmas for the birth of his child with Raffaella Fico
The City striker, pictured on Monday
wearing boots embroiderd with ‘Super M Angel’, would miss a number of
games if he were to be by Fico's side for a prolonged period.
City are due to travel to Sunderland
on Boxing Day then head to Norwich on December 29, before hosting Stoke
at the Etihad Stadium three days later,
Meanwhile, AC Milan have subtly reopened their pursuit of Balotelli after the striker's latest spat with Mancini.
City slicker: Mario Balotelli is continuing to attract attention from his homeland
The Italian was hauled off after 70
uninspiring minutes of the champions' snore draw with West Ham on
Saturday, and was noticeably frustrated as he stormed back to his seat,
mouthing his angry feelings towards the manager.
Mancini pulled no punches after the match, hitting out at his 25million man.
The Italian said: 'I think that a player like Balotelli, when he has a chance like to today, he should score.
'Because when you are a top player, if you have a chance, you should score this – but I don't think he didn't want to score.'
On the player's reaction to being substituted, Mancini added: 'It's normal. A player is never happy to leave the pitch, but if Mario had scored he'd have stayed on the pitch.
'I'm the manager, I decide. I cannot play with four strikers.
'He should be disappointed with the chance he missed, not leaving the pitch in the last 25 minutes. It was a bad chance he missed.'
Balotelli moved to the Premier League from Inter in 2010 and has made several trips back to Milan, most recently to watch the city's big football derby.
Despite his connections to Inter, Balotelli left the club under a cloud and would have little concern joining their fierce rivals.
And it seems AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani is warming to the idea despite admitting it would be difficult.
Strop: Balotelli was unhappy with Roberto Mancini's decision to sub him after a poor show at West Ham
Speaking on Monday, he said: 'I have a profound love for Mario Balotelli, but many loves in life don't always end well.'
Galliani also took the opportunity to dismiss rumours in his homeland that AC Milan's star turn this season, Stephen El Shaarawy, would be making a move to the Premier League.
The Italy international, nicknamed 'The Pharaoh', has enjoyed a stellar campaign to date, scoring 10 times in 17 Serie A games.
But Galliani insists any talk of a switch for the 20-year-old is wide of the mark.
He added: 'Manchester City are interested in signing El Shaarawy Enough of this talk. He has contract with Milan until 2017, and soon he will sign an extension until 2018. He’s an enchanting player.'
Hot property: Stephan El Shaarawy has been in fabulous form for AC Milan