Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli pictured smoking just two weeks ahead of new season
Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been pictured smoking a cigarette while on holiday in Italy just a fortnight ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
The Italian was dining at the Strainer Restaurant on the Italian Riviera after enjoying a boating trip around the region on the coast of Portofino after being informed by manager Jurgen Klopp he had no role to play ahead of the upcoming season.
Despite that, however, the images, published by the Daily Mail on Tuesday morning, will do the former Manchester City forward’s chances of finding a new club no good at all with just under a month to complete a deal away before the transfer window closes.
Balotelli has been spotted smoking cigarettes before, lighting up during a trip to Miami two years ago, before re-joining former club AC Milan on loan last summer.
As if it wasn't tough enough to sell him already. Liverpool's Mario Balotelli pictured smoking on holiday in Italy. pic.twitter.com/WSmZ2F7SRy— Scott Saunders (@_scottsaunders) August 1, 2016
The report adds that Milan insisted on a “good behaviour” clause being inserted into the 25-year-old’s loan agreement. Balotelli was banned from extravagant haircuts and smoking while all of his posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were monitored.
Elmar Neveling, Klopp’s biographer, tells the tale of how Klopp apparently used Balotelli’s behaviour as an example to his Borussia Dortmund players in the past.
Neveling wrote in Jurgen Klopp: “When the subject of Italy forward Mario Balotelli, who while at Manchester City threw a dart at a youth-team player, came up, Klopp didn't mince his words: if one of his players pulled a stunt like that 'they would never wear this club's shirt again.
“He wont get a second chance to make a mistake like that: 'Look, you might be able to play, but I don't want to see your face again. Not when we've got so many lads who are a joy to work with.'”
Independent News Service