Balotelli agent in referee warning
Updated Tuesday, 24th January 2012
Balotelli agent in referee warning.
Mario Balotelli's agent has warned his player could quit English football over what he believes is unfair treatment from referees.
The controversial Manchester City striker is facing a four-match ban after being charged with violent conduct by the Football Association following a clash with Tottenham's Scott Parker on Sunday, the latest in a catalogue of incidents both on and off the field since the Italian joined City in August 2010.
Agent Mino Raiola admitted the 21-year-old feels his reputation may be counting against him and, tempering earlier remarks made to Italian media, told Sky Sports News: "Mario doesn't want to leave the club. It's fantastic, he loves it and feels at home. But if every week some referee (does this) with Mario, maybe you say, 'That's enough' and he goes to another country."
He added: "But I spoke to him for a long time yesterday and although he was disappointed (about the charge) he said, 'It's fantastic here'."
On the striker's future, Raiola earlier said: "We are not (looking to move) - our understanding has been openly declared.
"He would love to stay in the Premier League for a long time and won't move this transfer window, for sure. It's not our intention, let that be clear.
"He said, 'Obviously the people of Manchester United don't like me, which I can respect and understand but fans from all over the country like me and I like playing in England's stadiums. I'm starting to feel at home'."
Raiola had earlier suggested he felt there might be a conspiracy against foreign players such as Balotelli and City team-mate Vincent Kompany, who was also suspended for four games earlier this month.
He told Italian reporters: "If I find that there is something strange against Balotelli, my duty is to protect and then take him away. In this case I would speak with City, I'd ask them Balotelli's price and would look for the best team for him, as there are only six or seven teams he can play for."
City have until 6pm on Wednesday to announce whether or not they intend to contest the charge against Balotelli. Yet after failing in their appeal to overturn Kompany's red card against Manchester United earlier this month, it seems the club are likely to accept the ban, albeit reluctantly.