Tag Archives: slicker

Mario Balotelli avoids row with Manchester City over Christmas baby

Here's an early Christmas present, City fans: Balotelli avoids daddy of all rows with Mancini by NOT asking for paternity leave

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UPDATED:

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 brewing: Mario Balotelli could decide to be in Italy over Christmas for the birth of his first child

Expecting: Raffaella Fico

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

City slicker: Mario Balotelli is continuing to attract attention from his homeland

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

Strop: Balotelli was unhappy with Roberto Mancini's decision to sub him after a poor show at West Ham

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

Hot property: Stephan El Shaarawy has been in fabulous form for AC Milan

AC Milan chief"s profound love for Mario Balotelli

Milan's 'profound love' for Balotelli! Italians turn on the charm in pursuit of City star

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UPDATED:

12:57 GMT, 5 November 2012

AC Milan have subtly reopened their pursuit of Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli after the striker's latest public spat with Roberto Mancini.

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.

City slicker: Mario Balotelli is continuing to attract attention from his homeland

City slicker: Mario Balotelli is continuing to attract attention from his homeland

City slicker: Mario Balotelli is continuing to attract attention from his homeland

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.

Speaking on Monday, he said: 'I have a profound love for Mario Balotelli, but many loves in life don't always end well.'

Strop: Balotelli was unhappy with Roberto Mancini's decision to sub him after a poor show at West Ham

Strop: Balotelli was unhappy with Roberto Mancini's decision to sub him after a poor show at West Ham

Strop: Balotelli was unhappy with Roberto Mancini's decision to sub him after a poor show at West Ham

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.

Hot property: Stephan El Shaarawy has been in fabulous form for AC Milan

Hot property: Stephan El Shaarawy has been in fabulous form for AC Milan

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.'

London 2012 Olympics Natalia Sheppard overcomes compatriot Sophie Troiano

Sheppard beats compatriot Troiano but falls to Maitrejean in fencing second round duel

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UPDATED:

11:25 GMT, 28 July 2012

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Natalia Sheppard beat British teammate Sophie Troiano 12-9 in a wonderfully tense opening women's foil contest in the Olympic fencing at the ExCeL Arena.

Ranked 56 places above her opponent at 42nd in the world, Polish-born Sheppard went 6-2 up midway through the fight, but Londoner Troiano got the deficit back to one point on no fewer than five occasions.

Sheppard, who came through a European qualifier to earn her spot, refused to let her opponent get back on level terms, however, and two hits in the final six seconds took her through to a second round contest against France's world number six Corinne Maitrejean.

Battle of the Brits: Natalia Sheppard (left) claimed victory against Sophie Troiano

Battle of the Brits: Natalia Sheppard (left) claimed victory against Sophie Troiano

Sheppard failed to make it through to the last 16, losing 15-5 to the much slicker Maitrejean.

It was 8-1 to the experienced French fencer after just two minutes and, try as she did, Sheppard could not apply any real pressure or find inspiration from the fans.

Nigel De Jong wants new Manchester City contract

De Jong keen to sign Man City contract extension despite free exit fears

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UPDATED:

10:26 GMT, 20 June 2012

Nigel de Jong wants to extend his stay at Manchester City and isn't worried he hasn't agreed a new deal on his contract which is moving into its final season.

There has been speculation over the future of the 27-year-old midfielder due to his failure thus far to agree a new deal at the club he joined from Hamburg in 2009 for a fee reported to be around 18million.

But the Holland international has told Dutch magazine NU Sport he wants to remain at the Etihad Stadium.

City slicker: De Jong wants to extend his contract to remain at the Etihad

City slicker: De Jong wants to extend his contract to remain at the Etihad

'My contract runs for another year, so I'm in a pretty good position,' he said.

'I would like to stay. I've been at the club for more than three years and I'm enjoying myself.

'I have won the two biggest trophies in England – the FA Cup and the league title.

'I've seen the club develop from total chaos with the training facilities into a top club, and that's very satisfying to see.'

De Jong started only 11 league games last term, having battled an ankle problem early on and then struggled to break back into the side.

Game over: Holland's tournament ended in acute failure

Game over: Holland's tournament ended in acute failure

However, he played a key role in City's late charge to the title as they overturned Manchester United's eight-point advantage in the final month of the campaign.

'It is part of the job that I sometimes sit on the bench,' De Jong said. 'We have a rotation system. Ideally I would play in every game, but the team comes first and we won the title, so it was all worth it.'

Yaya Toure keen to finish his career at Barcelona

I'd love to end my career at Barca: City star Toure eying possible return to Spain

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UPDATED:

00:11 GMT, 9 May 2012

Yaya Toure has admitted he would love to finish his career with a return to Barcelona.

The Manchester City midfielder, whose two goals against Newcastle on Sunday moved the club to the brink of their first title since 1968, was sold by the European champions in the summer of 2010 and the Ivorian says a return to Spain would be tempting.

'I would love to return to Barcelona and finish my sporting career there,' the 28-year-old told Spanish radio station Rac1. 'I love the city and Barca has always been the club of my life.I have a lot of desire to return to Barcelona Football Club.

City slicker: Yaya Toure says he would like to end his career at Barcelona

City slicker: Yaya Toure says he would like to end his career at Barcelona

Nou Camp return Toure left Barca for City

Nou Camp return Toure left Barca for City

And Toure, who City would be very unlikely to sell, said his good friend Eric Abidal's recent liver transplant is part of the reason he would want to return to Spain.

'I would also like to be close to Abidal, he is my brother,' said Toure. 'I want to support him.'

Pep Guardiola allowed Toure to join City for 24million but Barcelona would be unlikely to want him back even though he is popular with the fans and has a good relationship with new coach Tito Vilanova.

'The decision by Pep Guardiola to leave was a little strange because the club has had years of success and trophies. But we are all human. I know the new coach very well. He is a very good person and his footballing philosophy is similar to Guardiola. He will be a very good coach.'

Toure has become incredibly popular at City after scoring the winner in last season's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United, the final against Stoke and the crucial double at St James' Park.

Carlos Tevez gets a round in after Manchester City return

Golfer Tevez gets a round in to celebrate Manchester City return

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UPDATED:

16:19 GMT, 22 March 2012

Carlos Tevez played plenty of golf during his exile from Manchester City and the striker is determined not to lose his swing now he's returned to the day job.

Tevez came off the bench to set up City's winner against Chelsea on Wednesday night in his first appearance since September.

Different ball game: Tevez (right) enjoys a round the day after his City return

Different ball game: Tevez (right) enjoys a round the day after his City return

The 28-year-old's cameo finally drew a line under the events of the past five and a half months which began when Tevez refused to warm up during a game against Bayern Munich.

Tevez was often pictured enjoying 18 holes after returning to Argentina without permission following the row and was back on a course (a lot closer to the Etihad Stadium) on Thursday.

City swinger: Tevez looks the part as he follows through

City swinger: Tevez looks the part as he follows through

The Argentina international was with his wife Vanessa and a few pals at Tytherington Country Club in Cheshire.

We don't know how Tevez was getting on but he didn't look as happy as he did after setting up Samir Nasri's crucial goal against the Blues.

City slicker: Tevez joins the celebrations after Samir Nasri's goal

City slicker: Tevez joins the celebrations after Samir Nasri's goal

Edin Dzeko and Gonzalo Higuain in swap deal

Man City line up swap deal with Real Madrid's Higuain as Dzeko nears exit

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UPDATED:

08:55 GMT, 20 March 2012

Edin Dzeko could leave Manchester City this summer in a swap deal with Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain.

Dzeko has become frustrated at a lack of first-team opportunities at the Etihad Stadium, making just 14 league starts this term.

Edin out Dzeko could leave Manchester City in the summer

Edin out Dzeko could leave Manchester City in the summer

With Carlos Tevez due to return, Dzeko could slip further down the pecking order.

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is a huge admirer of the Bosnia international, who has scored 18 times for City this season.

City slicker: Higuain could join the Blues at the end of the season

City slicker: Higuain could join the Blues at the end of the season

And according to The Sun, Roberto Mancini would be interested in pairing Gonzalo Higuain with his Argentina team-mate Sergio Aguero next season.

The 24-year-old is in his sixth season at the Bernabeu and is open to a move.

Manchester City pick on me because I play for my country, says Kolo Toure

Kolo attack! City pick on me because I play for my country, claims disgruntled Toure

Former captain Kolo Toure appears to have paved the way for a January exit from Manchester City after launching a stinging attack on the Barclays Premier League leaders.

The Ivory Coast defender has hardly played for City this season after missing the first part of the campaign through suspension.

Now Toure would appear to have burnt his bridges at the Etihad Stadium by claiming he is being left out for reasons nothing to do with football.

City slicker: Kolo Toure has fallen out of favour at Manchester City

City slicker: Kolo Toure has fallen out of favour at Manchester City

In an interview in France, Toure claimed he is still paying for missing Premier League games while at the Africa Cup of Nations two years ago and rubbished 20-year-old City defender Stefan Savic.

The comments are remarkable after City stood by him during his six-month drugs ban.

Toure said: ‘I know my qualities and I have got nothing to prove here in England. They know me here. When you look at the performance of Savic against QPR, excuse me but I am relaxed.

Turning your back: Toure claims he is marginalised over his decision to represent his county

Turning your back: Toure claims he is marginalised over his decision to represent his county

‘To compete in the Africa Cup of Nations is catastrophic for a player these days. Coaches no longer want to sign players because of it. I feel it’s going to be more difficult for the Africans in football in the future.

‘I’m convinced that, if I’m not playing for City, then it’s not only for football reasons. If it was only about that then I would be playing every week. I’m a victim of that and it has to be said.

‘When I was in Angola for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010 the club hired a plane so that I could get back quickly to play in a game against Manchester United. I could not get back in time and we lost. I believe the club have not got past that and I’m paying for it now.’

Toure was a key signing for City in 2009 and was made captain by former manager Mark Hughes.

However, the former Arsenal defender lost his place last season and was then suspended for six months by the FA after failing a drugs test at the start of this year.

Toure has failed to re-establish himself in Roberto Mancini’s Premier League team because of the form of Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott at the heart of the City defence. His appearances have been largely restricted to the Carling Cup and one Champions League game, a 2-0 defeat at Bayern Munich in September.

Toure believes African footballers in general are being discriminated against because of their obligations to the Africa Cup of Nations. Next year’s tournament takes place in January and will see Toure and brother Yaya leave City for three weeks after Christmas.

Kolo Toure added: ‘Clubs at this level always have big squads. It goes one way and then the other. I was captain here and so was Carlos Tevez. He is no longer here and who would have thought that would have happened African players are the victim of discrimination.’

Unimpressed: Toure hit out at the performance of team-mate Stefan Savic

Unimpressed: Toure hit out at the performance of team-mate Stefan Savic

Toure has interested newly wealthy French club Paris Saint-Germain and may join them in the January transfer window.

These latest comments will not endear him to Mancini after the club stood by the player during his ban that came after he took a diet pill given to him by his wife.

Another City defender, Aleksandar Kolarov, is expected to be out for four weeks with a groin problem.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have given AC Milan permission to speak to Carlos Tevez’s representative, according to the Italian club’s vice-president Adriano Galliani. The Serie A champions are interested in signing Tevez on loan in January.