Mario Balotelli: Manchester City Shouldn't Worry About Losing Perplexing Forward

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJanuary 20, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Mario Balotelli of Manchester City looks on from the bench during the Barlcays Premier League match between Manchester City and Fulham at the Etihad Stadium on January 19, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Losing Mario Balotelli to AC Milan would be addition by subtraction for Manchester City.

And according to the Guardian's Jamie Jackson, that January transfer could soon come to fruition:

Mario Balotelli" href="">Mario Balotelli's Manchester City future could be decided this week, with talks expected between the champions and Milan on Monday. City are said to want £31m for the striker but the fee may end up nearer to the £24m he cost them from Internazionale in the summer of 2010.

Adriano Galliani, the Milan vice-president, has told Gazzetta dello Sport: "At the end of Friday, Manchester City still said €37m. We will see on Monday. Under these conditions, he will remain at Manchester City."

It's understandable that the Blues don't want to budge on their price.

For as much flack as Balotelli receives, the Italian is still a tremendous talent at a very young age. Additionally, while Manchester City is obviously loaded with goal-scoring talent all over the field, Roberto Mancini doesn't have an excess of true strikers. 

Balotelli gives the Blues a rare, natural talent and important depth up front. 

But sometimes you just have to cut your losses. Sometimes, a player's antics out-weigh his gaudy potential. 

And Balotelli's antics are world-class. 

He sets hIs house on fire. He wears shirts like this under his jersey. He fights teammates. And he attempts shots like this one:

And he gets benched. 

Balotelli is certifiably crazy, and even worse, his play on the pitch is no longer backing up those unpredictable actions. 

In 14 appearances in the Premier League, the young Italian has scored just one goal and failed to record an assist. He's been able to get a fair amount of looks (2.4 shots per contest) at the goal, but his finishing ability has been atrocious. 

As a result, he's seeing less and less playing time. Most recently, he was an unused substitute against Fulham

Manchester City shouldn't sell low on Balotelli quite yet, but if Milan is willing to offer a healthy price, the Blues shouldn't hesitate in ridding themselves of the enigmatic, often impossible-to-figure-out striker.