VIDEO: Mario Balotelli hands Richard Wright a baptism of fire on his first day of Manchester City training

RECENTLY-RELEASED Ipswich Town goalkeeper Richard Wright was handed a baptism of fire on his first Manchester City training session.

During free-kick practise, James Milner and Scott Sinclair leave the 34-year-old rooted to the spot with pin-point efforts, while the former Blues man jokes he ‘had it covered’ when a fierce striker Mario Balotelli rattles the post.

The mad-cap Italian – who is heard pointing at the dummy wall and naming the fixed figures ‘Messi, Iniesta and Xavi’ – then lashes an unstoppable effort into the top corner, with a City coach chuckling ‘welcome’ in Wright’s direction.

Having made just one appearance in his third spell at Ipswich, Wright was released by his hometown club this summer. A move to Preston lasted just a week into pre-season, with the custodian citing that he was ‘homesick’.

The Green’Un understands that the former Arsenal, Everton and West Ham keeper had turned down a move to League Two side Barnet and was all set to take on a coaching role at Town.

However, the Premier League champions made a shock move on transfer deadline day, offering him a one-year deal to act as back-up to Joe Hart and Costel Pantilimon.