LEAGUES

Mancini: I love Balotelli but I can't do anything for him anymore

about 1 year ago
Share

Roberto Mancini has supported Mario Balotelli during his eventful career but is frustrated the Italy striker does not have a club.

Mario Balotelli being without a club once again as a new season approaches is "not normal", says Italy head coach Roberto Mancini.

Balotelli is reportedly close to joining hometown club Brescia after negotiations to join Brazilian giants Flamengo broke down.

He scored eight goals in 15 appearances for Marseille last term, having impressed in an early stint with their Ligue 1 rivals Nice, but budgetary constraints at the Stade Velodrome left the 29-year-old once again seeking pastures new.

Mancini managed Balotelli at Inter and Manchester City and ended his four-year international exile by recalling the striker when appointed as Azzurri boss in 2018.

Nevertheless, some exasperation with his one-time protege was evident in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.

"At 29, and for the second year in a row, less than 10 days before the start of the championship, he still didn't have the absolute certainty of a team," Mancini said.

"He didn’t prepare, he didn't train regularly. He must reflect, it is not normal."

On whether Brescia might be the right option in terms of Balotelli getting back into the Italy fold, he replied: "Whether it will be a good solution does not depend on Brescia but on him.

"Perhaps by playing closer to home he will feel more comfortable but it is not [guaranteed to] be enough.

"I love him, but for him I can't do anything anymore. He must think that he is in the middle of his career and that he still has much to give – if he wants."

For now, Mancini's hopes in attack for Italy are far more likely to rest on Moise Kean, who completed a surprise switch from Juventus to Everton during the close season.

Although he views the transfer as a disappointing development for Serie A, the 54-year-old feels it can ultimately benefit his national team.

"It is a pity because he is Italian and an international," he said. "But he goes to play in a beautiful and difficult league, at a club where they have not won for years and have to make the team competitive again.

"This can help him grow; my sorrow is more personal. But by now we know – it is no longer the football of 20 years ago, when everyone came to play in Italy, the most beautiful championship where they earned the most."

On whether Serie A should aspire to be more like the Premier League, Mancini added: "We can't expect the rhythm of the Premier League, that's just their thing. They have always been used to it – much faster and with fewer interruptions.

"With us, the pace can grow and we must understand that technical quality is essential. But we are making progress."

Related news

Rumour Has It: Sanchez agrees Inter deal as Madrid make Eriksen move

about 1 year ago

Ramsey 'very proud' after Juventus debut

about 1 year ago

Liverpool defender Lovren prioritising move to Roma, says agent

about 1 year ago

Ronaldo left out of Juventus squad for final pre-season friendly

about 1 year ago

Rumour Has It: United and City to battle for Dortmund's Sancho

about 1 year ago

Dzeko extends Roma contract to 2022

about 1 year ago

Nzonzi leaving Roma for Galatasaray loan

about 1 year ago

Rumour Has It: Maguire rejected huge Manchester City deal

about 1 year ago

Flamengo end negotiations with free agent Balotelli

about 1 year ago

Messi and Ronaldo joined by Van Dijk on three-man UEFA award shortlist

about 1 year ago

Under follows Zaniolo by committing to Roma

about 1 year ago

Rumour Has It: PSG eye Vinicius as Neymar heads for exit

about 1 year ago

Villas-Boas: Not good for Ligue 1 if Neymar leaves PSG

about 1 year ago

Zaniolo commits to Roma with new five-year deal

about 1 year ago

Dybala no closer to Juventus exit amid Icardi speculation

about 1 year ago

Ronaldo to sit out Juventus practice match at Villar Perosa

about 1 year ago

Rumour Has It: PSG in talks to replace Neymar with Icardi

about 1 year ago

New Juventus signing Danilo relishing chance to work with Ronaldo and Sarri

about 1 year ago

‘Lukaku is a big loss’ – Man Utd taking a risk 'copying Liverpool model', says Ince

about 1 year ago