LONDON - Controversial striker Mario Balotelli's future at Manchester City was cast into doubt once again on Thursday after photographs emerged showing him in an apparent training-ground bust-up with manager Roberto Mancini.
Media reports claimed that Mancini lost his temper with his Italian compatriot after Balotelli made a reckless challenge on teammate Scott Sinclair at the club's Carrington training base on the edge of Manchester.
The pictures, published widely in the British media, show Mancini gripping Balotelli's orange bib in an apparent rage, before the two men are separated by members of City's coaching staff.
A witness, quoted in local newspaper the Manchester Evening News, said: "Mancini ran at him — he was furious. He grabbed hold of him and appeared to try and throw him on the floor.
"It looked like Mario was too strong and he couldn't get him down. Then all the coaches ran in to separate them but Mancini was having none of it. He kept trying to break free and have a go at him again."
Balotelli was also pictured walking to his car in the car park after the end of the session.
The 22-year-old has been a recurrent source of controversy ever since arriving in Manchester from Inter Milan in 2010.
He has twice been dropped from City's match-day squad this season and Mancini has repeatedly warned him that he is in danger of wasting his talent.