Manchester United’s Patrice Evra claims Mario Balotelli wants to leave Premier League champions Manchester City and return to Italy.
The controversial 22-year-old’s future has been plunged into fresh doubt after United captain Evra hinted he would seek a return to his homeland.
“Mario really misses Italy,” Evra told Italian TV.
“I don’t know if he will stay in Manchester, because he wants to return to his country. I am not his agent – I am only telling you how he feels.
“He is my rival in Manchester – I meet him a lot, I know him well. Off the pitch, we joke around and I take the mickey out of him.”
City defensive coach Angelo Gregucci refused to offer assurances on Balotelli’s future at the club, saying he is ‘definitely sellable’, but claimed the Italy star is ready to fight for his place at the club.
“Mancini has chosen to give him a signal, and it is his right to make choices,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“Perhaps during the last week something was missing, but Mario is ready to take back the Manchester City shirt.
“Will he stay? It’s not up to me to say. I just know that he is definitely sellable. He has 22 years of talent and quality.
“He is a resource of our football club. He will give his contribution to the national team and to City.”