According to Alex Hankin of the Mirror, the answer to that question should be a resounding "yes." Hankin has an eyewitness who saw Balotelli out partying on the town at 1 a.m. on Sunday morning, just 12 hours before Man City was set to face Tottenham in a key league match:
One eyewitness reportedly said: “He arrived at Panacea with a big entourage and certainly hadn’t dressed down for the occasion.
“I was astonished that he would be so brazen being seen out partying so close to a match, whether he was playing or not.”
Now to be clear, Balotelli didn't break any rules here, as Hankin points out. He already knew he wasn't going to be on the squad the day before and thus didn't have a curfew.
But that doesn't stop Hankin from speculating that Balotelli is likely on his way out:
Mancini now looks certain to get the green light to dump Balotelli and make a club-record £45million bid for Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao.
Mancini will now hear offers from both Milan clubs in the hope that he can recoup the £24m City paid Inter for Balotelli in August 2010.
For what it's worth, Balotelli's agent has downplayed any talk that he wants out of Man City (via FOX Soccer):
"There's no Italy and no plans to go there," said Mino Raiola.
"He'll work until the end of his contract. He doesn't want to leave.
"There's no player happy with not playing in a game, but he accepts it. It's all part of the game. It doesn't mean he wants to leave Manchester."
The argument that Hankin makes is that Balotelli should be prepared to play even if he isn't on the squad in case there is an injury leading up to the match and he's suddenly needed. It's a valid point.
But more importantly, the incident touches on something much deeper about Balotelli's stint with City—he's not reliable, and he's certainly not mature.
His questionable decisions and attitude on and off the pitch are overshadowing his talent at this point. And given the depth City already has, Balotelli hasn't been able to separate himself from a production standpoint to force the Manchester club to turn the other way and ignore his issues.
Balotelli has two goals in 14 appearances (seven starts) over all competitions for City this season. Frankly, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko have all been vastly superior to him thus far this season.
Let's be honest—he's made himself expendable.
Maybe that's what he wants despite what his agent recently said. Maybe he's tired of his stint in Manchester and wants to be sold back to Italy. If that's the case, well done Mr. Balotelli—you've brilliantly made yourself undesirable to City.
You better just hope you haven't made yourself undesirable to the teams you might like to return to as well. Otherwise, you best get used to that spot in the stands you've earned this year.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets can handle as many Hall of Fame egos as you like.
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