Roberto Mancini has insisted that Brendan Rodgers should be “paid double” for having to manage Mario Balotelli.
Mancini signed the 24-year-old for Manchester City in 2010 after having worked with him at Inter Milan – but the former Citizens boss believes that Balotelli’s form has been on a downward spiral ever since.
Since joining Liverpool for £16 million last summer, Balotelli is yet to score a Premier League goal in 12 appearances and has found the net just twice in other competitions.
Pay Rodgers double!
And when Mancini was asked why the striker has been struggling at Anfield, he said: "I have no idea what the solution is, but anyone coaching him should be paid double - a Balotelli indemnity.”
"He could go the same way as [former Inter striker] Adriano. For different reasons, but the same result. My only hope is that he will wake up one morning and realise he is throwing everything away."
Reunion on the cards?
An Anfield exit looks increasingly on the cards for Balotelli, with Mancini – now in his second spell in charge of Inter Milan – hinting in December that he would consider signing the striker for a third time.
The former Manchester City boss brought Balotelli to the San Siro in 2006 from third-tier side Lumezzane before giving him his first taste of Serie A action the following year - and finally brought him to England in 2010.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admitted over Christmas that Balotelli is not a good fit for his new 3-4-2-1 system and may have to get used to be being used as an impact player.
Mancini is certain that Balotelli won’t be happy with that role as he rarely listens to or respects the words of his superiors.
“With Mario, it is not easy. What goes in one ear, comes out the other.
“He must sort out his head. Since leaving City, he has declined in every aspect of his game. I thought he would do well at Milan, but it didn't happen."
No hard feelings
But the Nerazzurri boss was keen to stress that he bares no ill will towards the Liverpool man despite being involved in a training-ground bust-up with him in January 2013.
"Mario went out with my children; they were more or less peers and that helped me to relate to him.
"I think he is doing his best at Liverpool. It just depends on him. He is still young; he has the strength to develop.”