Mancini was sacked on Monday after three-and-a-half years in charge of the club, which included winning the Premier League and FA Cup, for not achieving the targets set by the club's owners this term.

He signed Balotelli in August 2010 from Inter, but after problems on and off the field sold the striker to Milan in January 2013 stating that the move was for "the good of the player".

The striker admitted that he was not surprised to hear that his former manager had been relieved of his position at the Etihad Stadium, but suggested there were off-field reasons for the decision rather than just a lack of success on the pitch.

"I am not really surprised," he told CNN. "When I was with him he was a great manager and we had one of the best teams I have played with, the best players.

"I don't know why they didn't win (the league), but obviously there were some problems inside. I am here (at Milan) so I don't know."

Balotelli has been at the centre of another racism storm in Italy this week, with Roma being hit with a 50,000 euro fine for alleged racist chanting at San Siro last weekend.

And the striker, who has previously claimed he would ignore racist jeers, appears determined to make a stand in the future.


"I always said that if [racism] happened in the stadium I will just do like 'nobody says nothing and I don't care'," he added.

"But this time I think I've changed my mind a little bit. If it's going to happen one more time, then I'm going to leave the pitch because it's so stupid.

"I spoke with (Kevin) Prince (Boateng). I was about to leave the pitch on Sunday, but they thought I wanted to leave because we had some difficulty with the game.

"I said 'no, it's better we play and I will talk', that's it. But if it wasn't for this reason then I was going to leave the pitch on Sunday."