Manchester City have denied reports that striker Mario Balotelli will take two weeks' paternity leave over Christmas.

The Italian's model girlfriend Raffaella Fico is due to give birth on Christmas Day and it was reported that Balotelli would return home during the busy festive period.

However, City said the club has checked with its human resource department, coaching staff and the 22-year-old's representatives.

A spokesman said there was "no basis" to the story, adding: "No request relating to paternity leave has been made by the player/his representative or received by the club."