Mario Balotelli claims love has set him free and is the reason behind his terrific form since leaving Manchester City for AC Milan.

The Italy international made the £19million switch in the January transfer window and has struck seven goals in only six games for the San Siro club and three in Italy’s last two matches.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini will have been wondering what had sparked such an immediate change in the 22-year-old.

Balotelli’s time at Etihad Stadium was notable primarily for the reports of his bizarre behaviour off the pitch and his failure to consistently produce on it.

However, the former Inter Milan star was well aware of what had causes the turnaround in his form and focus – the love of a good woman.

Balotelli feels his new relationship with Fanny Neguesha has affected him so positively it has led to greater focus on his game.

“Am I in love? Yes. She is determined, confident and generous,” he is quoted as saying in the Evening Standard.

“In a short space of time she found herself in sync with me. I could spend my whole life with someone like this. Thanks to Fanny I have rediscovered the balance that I need in my work.

“She puts our relationship first and foremost, so there are no distractions or rows before games. It’s not easy to be with me, because I almost have to give up on a private life, as I am constantly exposed to the public.”

Manchester City fans will be feeling a touch unlucky that Balotelli found love so soon after leaving the Citizens.

His current form may have been enough to keep Mancini’s club in touch with rivals Manchester United, who look certain to snatch the Premier League title back.

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