Monday Kickoff: Balotelli linked with Milan exit; Ronaldo a doubt for Galatasaray clash; and more

Monday Kickoff: Balotelli linked with Milan exit; Ronaldo a doubt for Galatasaray clash; and more

European Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Balotelli linked with Milan exit; Ronaldo a doubt for Galatasaray clash; and more

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MarioBalotelliACMilan2-Genoa (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Mario Balotelli’s tumultuous time at AC Milan could be nearing its end.

After converting the first 26 penalty kicks of his professional career, Balotelli missed the second one of the season as Milan drew 1-1 with Genoa, dropping the Italian giants to 13th place in Serie A. Following the match, Balotelli sent out a Tweet saying “This is the end” in English, though a few hours later he backtracked and said he was happy to stay at the club.

However, on Monday, Balotelli arrived late for training, and though he’s included in the Milan squad for its UEFA Champions League match against Celtic on Tuesday, his future at the club seems a bit clouded. In addition, Milan head coach Max Allegri could be out of a job if Milan doesn’t pull out a positive result in Champions League, according to reports in Italy.

So far this season, Balotelli has scored five goals in 14 matches, but none since mid-October. The Italian international moved to Milan last January from Manchester City, after starting his career at crosstown rivals Inter Milan.

Here are some more stories to kickoff your week:

RONALDO COULD MISS CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MATCH

Real Madrid can secure first place in Champions League Group B on Wednesday, but it may have to do so without Cristiano Ronaldo.

The superstar winger was forced off early in the second half with a muscular problem after scoring three minutes into the match, but Ronaldo brushed off any concerns of his injury to the media after the game. However, according to Spanish publication AS, Madrid will keep Ronaldo on the sidelines for their Champions League match at home against Galatasaray to keep the injury from progressing. Madrid next plays Real Valladolid on Saturday.

Since the start of this season, Ronaldo has seemingly improved his incredible goal-scoring record, scoring 25 goals in 18 games in all competitions in the Real Madrid shirt.

QUICK KICKS

Marseille winger Andre Ayew is set to miss the next two months after suffering a meniscus tear in his left knee while on international duty with Ghana. (REPORT)

Sunderland have submitted an appeal to the FA after Wes Brown’s dubious red card dismissal last Saturday. (REPORT)

Nike have released their design of Brazil’s 2014 World Cup jersey, featuring a sleek take on the classic canary yellow jerseys. (REPORT)

German international Sidney Sam has been ruled out of Bayer Leverkusen’s match against Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesday. (REPORT)

Boca Juniors’ chances of winning the Argentine Primera Division took a major hit with their 2-0 home defeat to All Boys last Sunday. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Balotelli leaving Milan? Do you believe Real Madrid could rest Ronaldo for their next match?

Share your thoughts below.

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