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Allegri: Mario won't leave in January

Despite comments from Mario Balotelli's agent hinting the unsettled star could join Chelsea, AC MIlan boss Max Allegri insists he's staying put.

AC Milan tactician Massimiliano Allegri has rubbished suggestions that Mario Balotelli could quit the club as soon as January.

It has been another tempestuous period in Balotelli's career with almost constant off-the-field headlines about the Italian international.

The player's agent Mino Raiola has indicated that the ex-Manchester City man's future may lie elsewhere and said a move to Chelsea was 'possible' in an interview last night.

However, despite substituting Balotelli after just 52 minutes in Milan's 3-2 defeat at Parma last weekend, Allegri insists that there is no rift between player and club.

"I took him off because he wasn't playing well," the ex-Cagliari man said in today's press conference. "He'll be there to play Lazio tomorrow and I'm sure he'll do well.

"He needs to be left in peace and only judged for what he does on the field. Unfortunately he's a media person and needs to learn how to best manage his energies. 

"Am I afraid of losing Balotelli in January? Absolutely not. He is a Milan player and he's having a poor patch of form, but that can happen."

Allegri also assessed what went wrong in the shock defeat against Parma at the Stadio Tardini.

"We conceded at the end of the first and second halves. They were carbon copy goals and they cost us the points. We nearly went 3-0 down before we fought back but we paid for every error we made."

AC Milan v Lazio promises to be a tense encounter as both Allegri and his opposite number Vladimir Petkovic are widely believed to be on thin ice.

image: © olaszmelo

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