Manchester City: Mancini not fazed by Balotelli comments

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini insists he has no problem with Mario Balotelli's liking for stirring controversy.

The outspoken Balotelli was at it again this week, declaring in an interview with new Italian newspaper Extra Time, that he was part of the best strike force in the world and that Wayne Rooney was not even

the number one forward in Manchester.

Maybe it was not the wisest comment from a player who is again sidelined with a knee injury.

But Mancini remains unconcerned.

"I haven't read the interview so I don't know what he has said. But he likes to joke sometimes and these things are jokes.

"We live in a free world. If someone wants to say something, it is better that he does. I respect every opinion.

"We are not in a war. We are free to say what we want."

BACKING: For Gjanni Alioski, right, pictured with Kalvin Phillips.

Leeds United v Middlesbrough: Christiansen backs foreign recruits to withstand Championship demands