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Balotelli agent rubbishes deal

ROME, July 26 – Star teenage Italian forward Mario Balotelli's agent on Monday denied that his client has signed a deal with Manchester City.Earlier reports in the Italian press claimed the 19-year-old Inter Milan striker had already agreed a contract with the English Premier League side and that all that was missing was an agreement between the two clubs.

But his agent Mino Raiola told Ansa news agency: "Nothing has been signed between Balotelli and Manchester City and I doubt anything will be in the next few days."

The 19-year-old has long been linked with a move to City, who are managed by his former Inter boss Roberto Mancini.

According to reports, Balotelli held a farewell party in Milan over the weekend and all that remained was for Inter and City to sign the formalities.

Gazzetta dello Sport claimed he had signed a five-year deal worth four million euros a season while the initial fee would be 30 million euros, possibly rising to 35 million euros based on appearances and goals.

The newspaper said he would join his new team-mates on Wednesday as both clubs are on pre-season tours in the United States.

It even claimed the striker could turn out for City against Inter on Saturday in Baltimore.

The Italian of Ghanaian origin has been a controversial figure during his fledgling career but is considered by many to be Italy’s brightest young talent.

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However, he has suffered from racial abuse from the terraces and has frequently fallen foul of Jose Mourinho’s strict disciplinary code during the Portuguese’s two-year stint in Milan.

Balotelli also enraged his own club’s fans towards the end of last season when he hurled his shirt to the ground after Inter’s 3-1 Champions League semi-final, first leg victory over Barcelona at the San Siro.

The teenager had been jeered for a less than committed substitute performance and he was later allegedly attacked by team-mates angered by his actions.

He was also left on the sidelines for six games before that after failing to apologise publically to his coach over an internal incident.

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