Italian boss finally loses patience with 21-year-old striker following sending off against Arsenal in 1-0 defeat and feels striker may 'lose talent' if his attitude doesn't change
The 21-year-old has become a figure of frustration at the Etihad Stadium this season. Despite his undoubted talent, his discipline both on and off the field has often let down his manager and team-mates.
This had led to reports of his exit from the club in the summer as Mancini was said to have finally lost patience with the Italian striker, and he has now admitted that the former Inter Milan man could be sold, before revealing that he would not play again this season.
When Mancini was asked if Balotelli could be sold, he told reporters: "Probably but I don’t know, it depends because Balotelli is a fantastic player. We want 11 players but with Mario on the pitch every time we play we risk him being sent off.
"We have six games and he will not play in the next six games."
The 47-year-old manager admitted that the striker is in danger of wasting his potential if he keeps up his poor attitude on the pitch.
He said: "I finished my work for him today. I love him like a guy, I love him like a player, I know him, he’s not a bad guy, he’s a fantastic player but in this moment I am very sorry for him because he continues to lose his talent and his quality.
"I hope he understands that he is in a bad way for his future and he can change. If Mario continues like this I probably agree but I hope always that he can change his behaviour.
"Mario is young, he is 21 and I understand that when you are young you can make some mistakes. There are a lot of people who make mistakes. I hope for him, not for me, that he can change."
Mancini also revealed he wants the Football Association to take further action against the Balotelli following his tackle on Alex Song that escaped unpunished from referee Martin Atkinson.“I think Mario should have been sent off after 10 minutes. In the last 15 minutes I had hoped he could continue to play but it was difficult for him," he said.
When asked if the FA should have a look at the incident and take disciplinary action, he replied: “I hope.”
The City manager also thinks Balotelli has caused problems in the ranks at the Etihad Stadium after falling out with several of his team-mates this year including Yaya Toure on two occasions.
He added: "It’s clear he created a big problem but he has scored a lot of important goals.
"Mario is Mario. When he does a mistake [it's] because he is young and doesn’t understand, but it’s also Mario when he scores two goals when we won 6-1 [against United].
"It’s Mario when he scores a penalty in the last second against Tottenham."