The bitter stand-off between Manchester City and Mario Balotelli has taken another twist with the striker reportedly missing training through illness yesterday, throwing into doubt his appearance at a Premier League tribunal this morning, WRITES LUKE EDWARDS.
The Italian is fighting a fine of two weeks' wages – around £340,000 – which City imposed on him for several instances of poor discipline on the pitch last season.
The Professional Footballers' Association had been expected to accompany him to London to challenge the decision after he failed to overturn the sanction through an internal club appeal.
Balotelli's mood might not have been helped by City's decision to show an unflattering video of him struggling to wrap some Christmas presents. The video is part of City's Video Advent Calendar on the club's official website and shows Balotelli haplessly trying to wrap a present alongside team-mate Carlos Tevez.
Having once infamously struggled to put on a vest, Balotelli's lack of prowess with a pair of scissors and a piece of paper exasperates Tevez, who says to his team-mate: "No wonder people say you are daft." (© Daily Telegraph, London)