Mario Balotelli has suggested he would break his promise to Manchester City and join a Premier League rival, following recent speculation of a potential switch to Chelsea.
The AC Milan striker claimed he would never represent another Premier League club when he exited the Etihad, but he now hints a future return to England could be a possibility, as reported by Soccer Italia magazine via ESPN:
The Manchester City fans were fantastic with me and when I left, I said that I'd never be able to see myself in England with another shirt than City's. But in football, nothing's impossible.
Balotelli recently revealed he would like to link up with Jose Mourinho, his manager while at Inter Milan, paving the way to Chelsea in the process, per Simon Mullock of the Mirror:
Of course I would like to play under Jose again. In my first days at Inter we had some problems, but then it turned into a mutual respect, and now we have a real friendship.
It is never boring playing under Jose. When you are in Mourinho’s team it is a family and he coaches on the principal that if all is well with the family it doesn’t matter what is going on outside the team.
While regularly linked with Chelsea throughout the season, Balotelli is also said to be the subject of interest from Arsenal, despite his chequered first spell in English football that yielded four red cards during his two-and-a-half year stint, as reported by Daniel Harris of The Guardian.
Milan are currently struggling in Serie A and have a real chance of missing out on next season's Champions League. Clarence Seedorf's men rely heavily on Balotelli's output of goals and, without him, would be plundering lower than their current position of ninth.
The enigmatic striker has scored 10 goals and provided three assists in 18 games this season, recorded by WhoScored.com. He has also picked up eight yellow cards and one red in the domestic division, indicating his bad-boy demeanour is yet to dissipate.
Which club would provide Mario Balotelli with the most prosperous future?
He would offer both Chelsea and Arsenal a solution to their lack of striking options, but would also bring plenty of baggage from the San Siro along for the ride. Balotelli was recently forced to deny allegations of assault in Italy, reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, once again capturing headlines in a potentially unsavoury moment.
Even if Balotelli is proven innocent of these claims, these are the types of stories that have arisen time and time again for the individual no matter where he is situated, as summarised by Steve Anglesey of the Mirror.
The 23-year-old is more suited to Mourinho's style of leadership over Wenger's due to the Portuguese manager's willingness to shield his players from the spotlight. The Blues boss' denial that his team can win this year's Premier League is an example of the clever tactics Mourinho employs to ensure media focus remains on him, per Neil McLeman of the Mirror.
"I could write a book of 200 pages of my two years at Inter with Mario, but the book would not be a drama – it would be a comedy," said Mourinho in an interview with CNN, reported by Football Italia.
Whether this book is destined to enter a new chapter remains to be seen. Balotelli remains a risk for any club, but on his day, he is one of the most lethal strikers around.
Someone like Mourinho could tame the player's fiery streak given time, especially considering the pair know each other so well.