Stephan El Shaarawy denies reports of a rift with AC Milan teammate Mario Balotelli.

The young striker is now playing second fiddle to the former Manchester City firebrand.

"My friendship with Mario was instinctive," he told reporters. "It happened immediately as soon as we met. The story that Mario and I have fallen out is false. It is an invention made up by journalists.

"Mario is a simple guy, like myself. We are two nice guys!"