Monza CEO Adriano Galliani assures ‘this is truly the last, absolutely last, completely the last chance’ for Mario Balotelli, as he joins the Serie B club for six months.
Currently a free agent and with Vasco da Gama confirming they offered him a deal, Balotelli seems to have decided to start again in Italy’s second division with a newly-promoted club and some familiar faces.
Monza are owned by ex-Milan President Silvio Berlusconi, with coach Cristian Brocchi and players including Kevin-Prince Boateng.
“I gave him a proper talking to, and told him this is truly the last, absolutely last, completely the last chance,” Galliani told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I do love Mario, he’s a player with the kind of technical and physical qualities that should’ve allowed him do so much more with his career.
“There were flashes of exceptional quality and I can’t understand why he can’t get even better. After all, he is only 30 years old.”
The contract is short-term, until June 30, 2021, once Balotelli has passed his medical.
It seems an odd choice, considering during his time at Milan, Berlusconi had called Balo a ‘bad apple’ in the locker room.
“The President is enthusiastic, he gave me the all-clear, I passed Mario over to him on the phone and they had a talk,” continued Galliani.
“The boy treated these talks like a friend. He accepted a lower salary with some variables that are based on performance, appearances and promotion into Serie A.
“His agent Mino Raiola also took no commission. Mario gave up a very important contract he could’ve had in Rio de Janeiro with Vasco da Gama.
“He’s been out of action for a while, so it will take a few weeks to get him into shape. Finotto tore his ACL, so we needed another striker and I found him in Mario Balotelli.”
This is a six-month deal, but could there be an extension if Monza are promoted into Serie A?
“We’d both be happy for him to continue.”