•The former Manchester City and Liverpool forward has struggled to find form since joining Brescia in August
•“Mario is sad because he is unable to play his game,” —Cellino
Italian striker Mario Balotelli can leave Brescia on a free transfer in January as his game is not suited to a relegation scrap, the Serie A club’s president Massimo Cellino has said.
The former Manchester City and Liverpool forward has struggled to find form since joining Brescia in August, scoring two goals in eight league appearances.
Last month, Balotelli threatened to walk off the pitch after suffering racist abuse during a Serie A match against Hellas Verona.
“Mario is sad because he is unable to play his game,” Cellino said on the Italian television programme Le Iene.
“Fighting for survival in Serie A requires a huge sacrifice and perhaps he thought it would be much more simple.
“In January, he can leave on a free. At this moment, he needs to choose which road is best for him.”
When asked recently to explain Balotelli’s situation after he lost his place in the team, Cellino said it was because the forward was black, and he was “trying to get whiter”.
Cellino told the programme he was trying to “de-dramatise the situation”.
“Racist? I am catholic, I can’t be (racist), he added. “My comment was taken out of context. I said something stupid, I also make jokes.”
Brescia, bottom of Serie A, sacked coach Fabio Grosso on Monday.
Elsewhere, La Liga president Javier Tebas resigned from his post on Monday in order to stand for re-election.
Tebas has led the Spanish football league since 2013, when he replaced Jose Luis Astiazaran, with his existing mandate due to run until October 2020.
"I have decided to resign from my role as president so that a new electoral process starts, which I plan to run in, and I hope to gain support to stay four more years," Tebas wrote in an open letter on Twitter.
The 57-year-old explained his decision by stating that elections held in October next year would be too close to the launch of new tenders for La Liga’s audiovisual rights.
With a new government being formed in Spain following general elections in November, Tebas said it would be better if the head of La Liga had a stronger position by having a longer mandate.
"A new political term is starting, where it is possible that in our national parliament and in the European parliament there may be laws and directives proposed which affect our institution and our interests...
"I think that it is not good too (take on the matter) with a mandate that only has a few months left, the person who has to do it should do so with the backing of the clubs at least for four years," added Tebas.