World Football Transfer Roundup: 3 Teams for Mario Balotelli in January
Controversial forwards are not in short supply for Manchester City, and Mario Balotelli might be considered borderline psychotic for his antics on and off the pitch.
He has a wealth of physical talent, but his mental capacity to take things in stride and to accept managerial decisions is severely lacking.
Super Mario's often blatant disregard for discipline and seemingly nonexistent respect for authority might be his undoing at the Etihad Stadium.
He's either loved or hated, and there is no in-between. If he is loved anywhere in the world besides Italy, it is most certainly for sheer entertainment value. Otherwise, he's loathed.
It is for this reason that Italy seems the most likely landing spot for the 22 year old come January. It really all depends on who—if anyone—is willing to dance with the devil.
There were rumors during the summer transfer window that Super Mario could make his return to Inter Milan, but obviously nothing materialized.
That might be a possibility again, and Inter could come out green on the books having originally sold him for just under £26 million to Manchester City, according to transfermarkt.com.
Inter could definitely use a goal scorer if their play continues as it is into January.
They're currently fourth on the Serie A table and have the least goals (only 13) out of the top five clubs. Only four points off the pace set by Juventus, they're in good shape now, but a lack of goal scoring could prove costly in the latter part of the season.
Balotelli is familiar with the club and is adored by Italian fans for his electrifying performances for the national squad.
He also recently bought a £750,000 home in Milan for him and his pregnant supermodel girlfriend, according to the Daily Mail.
There's no denying Balotelli's affinity for Milan. The trouble is that Inter may no longer be interested in his services due to his widely publicized temperament.
Still, now that Jose Mourinho is no longer at the San Siro, a return for Balotelli may be in the offing come January.
Mario Balotelli shined in the European Championships last summer, and many were hoping he would put his antics behind him going into the new Premier League season.
One of Balotelli's Italy teammates spoke out in favor of the controversial forward following the loss to Spain in the Euro Final.
Andrea Pirlo, perhaps one of the best and most respected midfielders in the world, welcomed the signing of Balotelli to Juventus in the summer transfer window, reported ESPN.
"There was no problem with managing him in our dressing room, indeed he was very well behaved," Pirlo said. "I'd gladly take him in Turin. Mario is a guy who needs you to stay close to him."
Perhaps that is just what Balotelli needs. The 22 year old could do a lot worse than Pirlo as far mentors go.
Presently, Juventus are the best side in Italy. They are currently undefeated, have scored the most goals and allowed the least. Balotelli is hardly a necessity for the club.
That said, he's hardly a necessity for Manchester City. For Juventus, a club that has perhaps been as equally controversial in the past few years as Balotelli has been individually, Super Mario could be icing on the cake.
The sad truth for Manchester City is that potential suitors who may have been interested in the summer time may no longer need Super Mario's services.
Juventus, as good of a fit as they might be, hardly need him. The same can be said for Inter to a lesser degree.
It's hard to imagine any English club taking a chance on Balotelli for the likely £20 million-plus he's bound to cost. City might have to give an interested suitor a bargain bin price.
At 22 years old, he still has a lot of maturing to do, but the potential is unlimited. If Roberto Mancini can find a way to tame the beast, then Balotelli could do amazing things with Manchester City.
Time will tell for the troubled Italian, but if he is ever to live up to his potential, he needs to get his head right, and the club needs to give him a chance, again.