Relations between former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and Inter striker Mario Balotelli exploded last night at Inter Milan’s Italian Cup first leg 1-0 win against Fiorentina alerting Roberto Mancini and Arsene Wenger from Manchester City and Arsenal respectively.Mourinho and Balotelli were seen having a heated exchange when Mourinho hauled off the Italian under-21 star for being lazy.
The self-styled ‘Special One’ told RAI television:
“He made a mistake.
“He didn’t run back for a corner-kick. When he acts like that, he gets on my nerves.
“He’s got to defend first, then focus on his problems.
“In my tactics the players must always defend first and foremost, even if they have a problem,” explained Mourinho on RAI television.
“I don’t care if they picked up an injury or lost their contact lenses. He’s got to defend first, then focus on his problems.”
Balotelli has been linked with a move to Arsenal and Manchester City in the last two months, but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger ruled out a move in the January window for the talented 19-year-old.
Despite the recent public statement it is still believed that the Gunners boss could be tempted to finance a deal for the starlet in the summer depending on Inter Milan’s asking price. Balotelli has had a number of bust-ups with manager Mourinho, however the latest outburst could prompt Mourinho to give the player one more chance at the San Siro.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told fans last month that he had been interested in bringing in a striker but that any recruit had to represent value for money. Reports this week have put Bordeaux frontman Marouane Chamakh and FC Cluj giant Lacina Traore as Arsene Wenger’s top targets, however, if Balotelli became available he too could be added to the potential shopping list.