Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli was relegated to the stands for their 2-1 thriller against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Balotelli has become an infamous figure at the Etihad since his arrival from Inter Milan in 2010.
But his goal tally doesn’t quite match his reputation – his indiscipline on and off the field has often grabbed the headlines, both on the back and front pages.
He’s scored just 29 goals for the Citizens in more than two seasons and finds himself sliding down the pecking order at Eastlands where they boast the talent of Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and the in-form super-sub Edin Dzeko.
Having sold-off Emmanuel Adebayor in the summer to Spurs after his squad status fell to surplus to requirements, could Balotelli be the next in line for the boot?
His behavior has seen him cause problems for Roberto Mancini who first met him as a 17-year-old at Inter and brought him to Manchester in the belief he had huge potential. There is no doubt he has exceptional talent – he’s strong, tricky and has the quality to finish well on his day.
But it hasn’t been his day often enough for the Italian manager’s liking – between the bookings, the dismissals, the late nights out, and the t-shirts, Balotelli hasn’t found much time to work on his goal tally and will likely be sold in the New Year.
Mancini paid €22 million for him just two years ago and on the back of his impressive run in the Italian national team, he could have doubled his price-tag. And at 22 years of age, potential suitors would feel they were getting the best years of his career.
City are rumoured to be interested in hijacking Chelsea’s bid for Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao and would have to splash some serious cash to lure him to the Etihad – a sale of a big earning big name would help them finance a bid for the in-demand striker.
Is Balotelli outgoing? What do you think would be a reasonable price for him?