Roberto Mancini: 'Mario Balotelli didn't deserve to play'

Mancini explains Balotelli snub
© PA Photos
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says that Mario Balotelli was left out of the squad last week because he did not "deserve" a place.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has revealed that he left controversial striker Mario Balotelli out of the squad last week because he didn't "deserve" to play.

The Italy international was not included in the side that defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium and Mancini has insisted that it was purely for football reasons.

"Mario didn't play because it was my choice," said Mancini. "I have 20 players and if there are some players that don't work well, they don't deserve to play. There were other players that worked better than Mario and they deserve to go on the bench."

Meanwhile, reports have emerged in the last few weeks claiming that Balotelli could be on his way out of the club in January.

Mario Balotelli watches from the stands
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