AC Milan icon Jose Altafini has labelled Mario Balotelli a "failure" and says the club must consider selling the striker this summer.
The 23-year-old has netted 22 goals in 32 Serie A appearances since joining from Manchester City last January but his form and attitude are once again under scrutiny after a lacklustre showing against Atletico Madrid in midweek.
Consequently, when it comes to analysing what has gone wrong for struggling Milan this season, Altafini does not feel that the finger of blame should be aimed at CEO Adriano Galliani.
"Adriano has done what he could," the European Cup winner told the Corriere dello Sport. "The real failure is Balotelli.
"By now, it's no longer a surprise. He just continues always doing the same things.
"In my opinion, he doesn't need to be given any more importance, in the expectation and the hope that he will eventually be able to figure something out.
"The great players distinguish themselves through character and their personality. Well, not in his case. Just compare him with Kaka."
It has been suggested that Milan should cash in on Balotelli this summer but Altafini feels that the cash-strapped Italian club are in an awkward position given their lack of top-class forwards.
"I don't know if selling him is the best solution," he mused. "The truth is that Milan, in the condition they find themselves in, still need him.
"Better to wait until the end of the season and then make a decision."
Irrespective of what happens with Balotelli, Altafini believes that Clarence Seedorf was foolish to agree to take over as Milan coach midway through he season.
"I have said it from the first day he arrived on the bench: he made a huge mistake and Milan should accept that immediately," he stated.
"He should have waited until June to start the season fresh, with a new team. Instead, these months will eventually penalise him."