Manchester City forward could leave Etihad Stadium if internal dispute is not resolved.
Manchester City’s Italian striker Mario Balotelli is to appeal this week to the English Premier League against a club fine imposed for on-field ill discipline, leading to reports his future at the Etihad Stadium could be in doubt.
The 22-year-old failed to overturn the sanction internally and would now take the case to a league tribunal, Britain’s domestic Press Association news agency said, without quoting sources.
Balotelli missed 11 domestic and European games last season through suspension.
The forward was instrumental in helping Italy to the final of this year’s European championships in Poland and Ukraine, scoring twice in the 2-1 semi-final victory over Germany.
But Balotelli has shown erratic club form and was substituted during defending champions City’s recent derby with Manchester United, which they lost 3-2, fuelling speculation about a possible departure during the January transfer window.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli meanwhile said that Balotelli “really needs to use his head” to succeed with the northwest England club, calling for him to replicate the form that saw him score twice in the Euro 2012 semi-final win against Germany.
Prandelli told a news conference in Rome that he backed City manager Roberto Mancini to get the best out of the young player, despite his temperamental nature.
“Roberto is an excellent coach. He wanted Mario in Manchester. He knows what he’s doing. We’ve got an advantage over Roberto. We only have Mario for three or four days and he doesn’t have the time to annoy us,” the Azzurri manager joked.
Should Manchester City and Mario Balotelli be irreconcilable, it is thought that AC Milan would lead the queue for his signature.
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