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Balotelli eyes key City role

Mario Balotelli's agent has stressed again that the Italy international wants to become a 'key' figure at Manchester City.

The 22-year-old's future has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks after some decidedly below-par performances.

He started the Manchester derby last weekend, but was hauled off before the hour and replaced by the highly effective Carlos Tevez.

Roberto Mancini has always defended the man he nearly paid 20million for in 2010, whilst also revealing how much he is exasperated by him, both on and off the field.

His agent Mino Raiola has reiterated that Balotelli is not seeking a move away from the Etihad Stadium.

"Balotelli? He will remain at Manchester City with the goal of becoming a key player," he told Sky Italia.

"He has to improve something, but he need to feel confidence."

Raiola insists that talk of a move back to Inter Milan or even to AC Milan, is wide of the mark.

"He asked to come back to Italy two years ago, but not anymore and not now." Don't miss any live and exclusive football coverage this festive season. Click to visit Sky Sports' Festive Calendar