The enigmatic Italy striker is about to start a new chapter of his already eventful career
Monza chief executive Adriano Galliani has warned Mario Balotelli his proposed move to the Serie B club is “his last chance”.
The 30-year-old is expected to sign a short-term deal at Monza through to the end of the season at the start of next week.
In doing so Monza will become the ninth club of Balotelli’s eventful career, which has often seen him make headlines for his antics off the pitch as much as on it.
The former Liverpool and Manchester City striker has been a free agent since his release by Brescia at the end of last season amid reports he had repeatedly failed to turn up for training, and he had received an offer to join Brazilian side Vasco da Gama.
Galliani knows all about Balotelli’s character having been AC Milan chief executive during his two spells at the Rossoneri and has warned the striker that any misbehaviour will not be tolerated.
“I gave him a proper talking to, and told him this is truly the last, absolutely last, completely the last chance,” Galliani told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I do love Mario, he’s a player with the kind of technical and physical qualities that should’ve allowed him do so much more with his career.
“There were flashes of exceptional quality and I can’t understand why he can’t get even better. After all, he is only 30 years old.”
Galliani also dismissed suggestions Monza owner Silvio Berlusconi would be unhappy with Balotelli’s signing.
Berlusconi described Balotelli as a “rotten apple” in the dressing room during his time as AC Milan owner, claiming he never wanted to sign him in the first place after he left for Liverpool in 2014.
“The president is enthusiastic, he gave me the all-clear, I passed Mario over to him on the phone and they had a talk,” added Galliani.
“The boy treated these talks like a friend. He accepted a lower salary with some variables that are based on performance, appearances and promotion into Serie A.
“His agent Mino Raiola also took no commission. Mario gave up a very important contract he could’ve had in Rio de Janeiro with Vasco da Gama.
“He’s been out of action for a while, so it will take a few weeks to get him into shape. [Mattia] Finotto tore his ACL, so we needed another striker and I found him in Mario Balotelli.”