AC Milan have moved to provide striker Mario Balotelli with a minder in order to help him avoid trouble when away from the football pitch.
Balotelli has become notorious for generating headlines off the pitch, and the club have become frustrated with his inability to keep himself out of the newspapers.
Per Gazzetta dello Sport, via ESPNFC, Balotelli will now have Filippo Ferri monitoring his activities:
Mario Balotelli has been supplied with a personal assistant by AC Milan in a bid to keep him out of trouble off the field.
The Italy international continues to attract unsavoury headlines, most recently for breaking a reporter's microphone in Naples and, on Tuesday, for leaving the San Siro without wearing official club uniform or colours.
Such incidents should be limited in future after the Rossoneri assigned Filippo Ferri to keep a close eye on the player.
Balotelli is undoubtedly a fantastic player, but it is little surprise that Milan have taken steps to keep an eye on his off-field activities.
During his time at Manchester City, Balotelli's antics ultimately became too troublesome for the club to deal with on such a regular basis, and he was thus allowed to move on.
Milan, likewise, could do without the hassle that the striker can bring—especially at a time where the club are not performing as hoped on the field. The Rossoneri already lie 13 points off the summit of Serie A after just eight games.
If I were Mario Balotelli, why would I change? I still get sponsors, attention, media spotlight and chances. Why be normal?— Juan Arango (@JuanG_Arango) October 24, 2013
Only last week, Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri saw fit to caution the player over his behaviour, including his use of Twitter.
Per Goal's Alec Fenn, Allegri said:
He’s 23 years old, and he has to understand quickly that he’s not just another 23-year-old and certain sacrifices have to made, just as when he’s in training.
It’s not possible to prohibit Twitter and the club has no big problems with these things. But there have to be rules that are followed by everyone.
The hope must be from a footballing perspective that Balotelli learns to better balance his life in order to further his career. His potential is astounding, but he will also need to work hard to maximise fully his abilities.
At the moment, despite a bright start to his Milan career last season, that is simply not happening, and the club's worries are beginning to show through.
Balotelli has recently been sidelined through injury, perhaps exacerbating the problems, but he must learn to deal with the expectations that are placed upon great players. Hopefully, he realises in time to really let his talent explode on the world football stage.