Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli Reuters

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is understood to have said the club has no plans of selling controversial Italian striker, Mario Balotelli, according to an ESPN report.

Balotelli scored twice to help City come back from 1-3 down in their last league game, against Sunderland, to draw 3-3. However, his performance was marred by reports that Mancini was furious with his general behaviour during the match and there were even suggestions the player could be up for sale.

"This was a bad moment. I think a professional player can't do what they did in that moment, when we were losing 3-1," the Guardian quoted Mancini as saying.

However, the Italian manager seems to have had a change of heart since then.

"I am frustrated because sometimes I think it is not possible that a player with his class and his technique can play a game like this. I think he is young and I hope for him he can improve very quickly for his future. A player like Mario in the Premier League should score one or two goals every game," Mancini said to ESPN.

Meanwhile, although City are now five points behind rivals United in the race for the league crown, Mancini believes his side still has a chance.

"We should be strong, I believe always. The message is always the same - we will do everything to win this title," he added.