Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has rebuffed reports he has fallen out with Mario Balotelli ahead of Sunday’s Premier League encounter with Arsenal.
The 22-year-old was omitted for the dramatic 3-2 Champions League defeat against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night, sparking rumours of another bust-up with the manager.
But, Mancini refuted the suggestions, claiming it was simply a case of rotation and that the Italy international will be fit to play against Arsenal.
“This story is totally false,” Mancini told Sky Sports.
“Mario went in the stand only because we started to play with Carlos Tevez in attack and we couldn’t have three strikers on the bench.
“There has been no argument, and no row. Absolutely not.”
Meanwhile, the 47-year-old confirmed that Samir Nasri is a major doubt to face his former club, after the France midfielder was taken off during Tuesday’s game with a hamstring problem.
The France international’s injury is not as serious as first feared, but the Blues’ boss admits a comeback on Sunday is very unlikely.
“I do not think he will be ready for Sunday,” Mancini added. “We will try but it is difficult.
“I hope he will be OK for next week.”