The stoush was photographed as Mancini look to lose his patience with fellow Italian Balotelli after the player made an overzealous tackle on team mate Scott Sinclair.

Images show Mancini grabbing Balotelli’s bib before the duo were pulled apart by coaching staff.

A witness told Manchester Evening News: “Mancini ran at him – he was furious. He grabbed hold of him and appeared to try and throw him on the floor.

“It looked like Mario was too strong and he couldn’t get him down. Then all the coaches ran in to separate them but Mancini was having none of it. He kept trying to break free and have a go at him again.”

Balotelli, 22, is never far from controversy. He’s repeatedly chucked tantrums when not happy about being subbed off, and that’s when he gets a run.

Among his headline-grabbing incidents since joining the club are his crashing his luxury car on the way to training, breaking a club 48-hour curfew and a training-ground clash player Micah Richards.

He’s been dropped from the City squad twice this season and while Mancini has often defended his countryman, he’s said he worries Mario is wasting his talent.

In December, Balotelli took City to a Premier League tribunal to try and overturn a fine for his poor discipline last season, but dropped the action.

Mancini lost his cool with him during December’s Manchester Derby, which City lost 3-2 and in which Balotelli was replaced after 52 minutes.

“I love Mario like a guy, and as a player, but I think it’s important for him to start to think about his job if he wants to play well,” Mancini said.

Balotelli hasn’t played since the Man U game, but it’s reported a virus was what kept him out of fixtures over the Christmas period.

City play Championship side Watford in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Images via Getty