Mancini will have some awkward explaining to do if Manchester City’s Abu Dhabi-based owners take exception to the latest unsavoury headlines surrounding yesterday’s violent bust-up with bad-boy Balotelli.
Those who saw his violent confrontation with his fellow-Italian said the other City players watched with “shock and embarrassment” as they went for each other’s throats.
The furious encounter between the pair exploded when Mancini charged towards Balotelli after he had fouled team-mate Scott Sinclair.
One eye-witness told The Sun: “Mancini completely lost it with Balotelli, although to be honest the foul was fairly innocuous and Sinclair didn’t seem too upset.
“Mancini was playing in the same 10-a-side training match, and he had been throwing his weight about a bit, making sure everyone knew he was the boss.
“And when Balotelli and Sinclair tangled he came running over, pushed Mario away and gave him a real mouthful.
“Balotelli seemed to be surprised at first, but when Mancini kept pushing and yelling he started screaming back into Mancini’s face.
“The next thing we knew they were pushing each other and grabbing each other by the neck.
“It looked like Mancini was trying to either throw Balotelli off the pitch, or trip him over and throw him to the ground. But Balotelli is a big lad and he was having none of it.
“The other City coaches and trainers came racing over to separate them, and the rest of the players stood around open-mouthed.
“They were obviously shocked and embarrassed by what had happened. They didn’t know where to look.
“When they were dragged apart Mancini kept shouting and Mario went back over to the rest of the players and starting kicking a ball round.
“That was the end of the session, but Mancini kept shouting at Mario and he had another go back as they left the pitch. It was pretty heated stuff.”
The manager is due to hold his regular Press conference this morning and it will be fascinating to see how he handles the whole affair.
Another astonished onlooker confirmed that most of the aggression came from Mancini.
The second witness said: “Mancini ran at him — he was furious. He grabbed hold of him and appeared to try to hurl him on the floor.
“But 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 kept trying to break free and have a go at him again.”