AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has denied reports that striker Mario Balotelli could leave the club in January.
The 23-year-old Italy striker, who left Manchester City for Milan in January, has been linked in the Italian media with a return to another Premier League outfit Chelsea.
But Allegri has played down the speculation saying: “He will not leave in January, absolutely not” Allegri said on Milan’s website.
Balotelli has scored three Serie A goals this season and his contract with the Rossoneri runs until June 2017.
He was banned for three games in September for using “intimidating and insulting” words to the referee after AC Milan’s 2-1 defeat by Napoli. The striker has since returned and is expected to lead his club’s attack in Wednesday’s game against Lazio.
Allegri believes the media has caused Balotelli enough distraction and should cease to prey on his private life, rather access him based on his performance on the pitch.
“I think Mario should be left in peace. It’s not difficult to manage him.”
“There’s far too much discussion of the man’s private life. I think that Balotelli should be judged for what he does on the pitch like all other players.”