Balotelli’s off-the-field antics have garnered him a wild child reputation, with the 20-year-old's latest indiscretion coming just 36 hours before he scored against Bolton on Saturday as he was pictured emerging from a Liverpool strip club in the early hours.
The Italian will likely face a fine of two week's wages because of the incident, while he was also left out of Italy’s squad for their 1-0 defeat against the USA in mid-week because of manager Cesare Prandelli’s decision to drop him due to his red card against Tottenham in January.
In his brief spell with City Balotelli has courted controversy on a regular basis, and Mancini admits even he is struggling to understand why the striker is so often in hot water.
“I don’t know this. He only needs time because when you’re young you can make some mistakes and, after that, the moment will arrive when you can understand,” Mancini told the Telegraph.
“He needs to understand this because now he is young and when he is 25 or 26 it will be different.
“If you don’t have a good private life you can’t play at the top level. It’s impossible that he’s perfect but, after 100 times, he should understand what’s happened around him.
He added: "Mario stayed on the bench for five or six games because his behaviour wasn’t good. I’m very kind with him and with other players and all of them should have good behaviour for them and for the squad.
When asked if a stable home life and marriage may be the answer Mancini replied: “Could be, could be.”
Despite his bizarre antics Balotelli helped City to a record-equalling 19th straight home win as they briefly moved five points clear from Manchester United with a comfortable 2-0 win over Bolton.
Gretar Steinsson’s unlucky own goal gave City the upper hand in the 23rd minute before Balotelli, who had spurned numerous chances to get on the scoresheet, put the game to bed with 21 minutes remaining.
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