Premier League - Paper Round: Balotelli in fresh bust-up with Mancini

It has been a while since Mario Balotelli hit the headlines for the wrong reasons, but the Manchester City striker never seems to leave the tabloids hungry for too long.

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Premier League - Paper Round: Balotelli in fresh bust-up with Mancini
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Mario Balotelli looks frustrated at being left out of Manchester City's Champions League opener at Real Madrid (PA)

He returns to the back page of the Daily Star on Thursday with the headline "Mario in new bust-up" as the paper lifts the lid on why the Italian striker was not even on the bench for Tuesday night's Champions League clash at Real Madrid.

According to the paper, Balotelli was left out of the matchday squad by manager Roberto Mancini because of "disciplinary reasons" - despite travelling to Spain.

It explains: "It is understood Mancini was left fuming when Balotelli went out partying in Manchester until the early hours of Sunday morning following the Blues’ draw at Stoke last weekend.

"Mancini was keen for his stars to rest ahead of the clash with Jose Mourinho’s men, but Balotelli chose to ignore the Italian coach’s orders.

"The pair clashed before the Blues jetted off to Madrid and Mancini told him he wouldn’t be involved – but still insisted on him going to the Spanish capital.

"Mancini has also been angered by Balotelli’s refusal to give up smoking.

"He wants Balotelli to have counselling sessions and hypnosis but the maverick hitman has refused."

There had been hopes that Balotelli would have a big season after a fine Euro 2012 with Italy in the summer but so far he has been on the periphery of the action.

To other gossip and Newcastle United will not break their wage structure to keep striker Demba Ba at the club.

According to The Times, Alan Pardew is annoyed with some of Ba's associates who have been making noises about how he deserves a new deal despite the player and the Toon manager having a good relationship.

Alan Pardew admitted that Ba still has a £7.5 million get-out clause but the Times explains that: "Ideally, Ba — who is in talks with the club — would like to extend a deal that is in its penultimate year. However, Newcastle are insistent that they will not repeat the errors of previous regimes and break a financial model based on self-sufficiency.

"Ba, who scored 17 goals last season after his free transfer from West Ham United, is understood to be one of the club’s highest earners on a wage of about £50,000 per week."

Bolton are trying to sign Aston Villa’s Stephen Warnock to give their fading Championship promotion bid a boost even though there has been some speculation about Owen Coyle's future at the Reebok. (Daily Mirror)

Brendan Rodgers hopes to convince Anfield legend Jamie Carragher to extend his Liverpool career beyond this season, either as a player or a coach. (Daily Telegraph)

And finally QPR are poised to make a January move to sign on loan Manchester City whiz-kid John Guidetti as a replacement for the injured Andy Johnson. (Daily Express)

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