• Italian says he now takes his lead from Carlos Tevez
Mario Balotelli has "no intention of leaving" Manchester City and has taken his lead from how Carlos Tevez "gives everything, every day", according to the striker.
Speaking publicly for the first time since being sent off in City's 1-0 defeat at Arsenal nine days ago Balotelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "My future? I am only thinking about winning the title at the moment. Why are you always talking about Milan and Inter? I am under contract with Manchester City and have no intention of leaving.
"I am pleased that [the Internazionale president Massimo] Moratti talks about me in a positive way. He has known me since I was 15. I am grateful for the faith he has in me, but I'm only thinking about Manchester City. I don't have nostalgia for Italy. The Premier League is an experience that is serving me very well. For example, when I was at Inter I called my Mum to solve every little problem. But now I need to work them out myself."
Of Tevez being his inspiration Balotelli said: "When I arrived here [in the summer of 2010 from Internazionale] I trained to have fun. But from him I have learnt to always give everything, every day. Carlitos is very special and as such we can say that he is very similar to Ibra [Zlatan Ibrahimovic]."
Mancini remains a strong supporter of the 21-year-old despite his erratic behaviour and Balotelli said: "I still have to improve, especially as a footballer. Above all my behaviour on the pitch, but also tactically. I have the fortune to be working with [Roberto] Mancini, one of the best managers in the world, if not the best. Things are going well between us. We have talked about things after my last dismissal.
"I know that he believes in me. After my last sending off he feared a big suspension, so he spoke in such harsh terms [that Balotelli may not play again this season]. But we have sorted things out — I know that he believes in me. As always, after all."
Balotelli also claimed that some section of the media can exaggerate their portrayal of him. "The other week Mancini said that I played well [but] that I still needed to give more. Fair enough. But then they write that I haven't given my all. And it is best to leave the rest alone because some things are reported without."
He denied the requirement for extra professional work on his temperament." I think that psychologists are important and at times their help can be very helpful but I don't have any need," Balotelli said. "I am asking to be judged from what I do on the pitch."
Balotelli also revealed how easily he can be influenced when he said that his gate-crashing of the first press conference of Andrea Stramaccioni, the new Internazionale manager, was down to friends.