Football - City deny Balotelli sale

Manchester City have again insisted Mario Balotelli is still their player despite yet more rumours linking the striker with AC Milan.

PA Sport

City have repeatedly denied the 22-year-old is poised to leave the Etihad Stadium throughout the January transfer window.

Yet the latest stories have suggested discussions between the clubs over a possible move for the Italian to the San Siro before Thursday's deadline have begun and that the controversial Balotelli has already held a leaving party.

But City manager Roberto Mancini has been highly dismissive of all the speculation and his assistant David Platt expressed a similar attitude.

Platt said: "I saw that speculation but I've not heard anything. It's a shame Robbie's not here. He might know more than me but as far as we are concerned I think he is still a Manchester City player. I don't think there is anything is going to happen."

When asked if he was aware of any negotiations between clubs or the player, Platt said: "I'm not. I can only go off what you know and I have seen. I know exactly the same as you, which is speculation."

City will travel as firm favourites to QPR on Tuesday night with their opponents five points adrift of safety at the foot of the table, but Platt expects Harry Redknapp's men to respond after their shock FA loss to MK Dons.

He said: "They have started to amass points. Harry is not stupid, he knows a point here and there with the others losing around you gives you something to hold on to.

"It is a difficult game - always is, more so under the lights, tight ground.

"The team is likely to be completely different from the cup game but I am sure they will want to bounce back."

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