Gareth Barry is urging Mario Balotelli to stay with Manchester City.

Balotelli has been strongly linked with a return to Italy, where his partner Raffaella Fico is due to give birth to their first child over Christmas.

Barry said: "Hopefully Mario can go on a run now.

"He scored some massive goals last season. If he can repeat that, it will be good for us.

"He's probably not played as much as he would have liked, but he's kept his head as well as anybody else who isn't getting chances. He started and scored against Wigan, so that will help him.

"To be fair to Mario, he hasn't had loads of chances, but when you do get them, you need to take them and he took his chance against Wigan.

"Anyone who knows Mario knows he's not going to lack confidence. If he misses two or three, he'll keep trying the same things."