Mario Balotelli's girlfriend Raffaella Fico is due to give birth on Christmas Day and it was reported that the Italian would return home, potentially missing a number of Premier League matches.

However, City said the club has checked with its human resource department, coaching staff and the 22-year-old's representatives, and confirmed that no such request had been made.

A spokesman said there was "no basis" to the story, adding: "No request relating to paternity leave has been made by the player/his representative or received by the club."

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