City manager Roberto Mancini who has been known for showing great loyalty to Balotelli, who he also had in his time in charge at Inter Milan, seems like he may finally be losing his patience with the volatile Italian international.
The 22-year-old striker was fined two weeks wages, in the region of £350,000, after a series of disciplinary problems which lead him to missing around a fifth of City’s games in their title winning campaign last season.
Balotelli appealed his fine but it was rejected by the club and he is now ready to take the case to a Premier League tribunal on Wednesday. This is likely to add further strain to his relationship with Mancini who dropped him from the squad completely for the win at Newcastle on Saturday.
Signed from Inter Milan in 2010 for £24million and with a lot of expectation, Balotelli has endured a mixed time at the Etihad. Despite the problems, City’s chief is adamant that this isn’t the end of the road for the much maligned player.
He insisted: “Mario still has a big part to play this season” but added, “To get back into the team he needs to work in training and, when he plays, he needs to play well.”
Mancini clearly hasn’t given up completely on Balotelli, but how many more disruptive incidents he is willing to put up with remains to be seen.