Massimiliano Allegri feels Mario Balotelli is “an excellent professional” and laughed off continuing rumours over his future on the Milan bench.
The former Manchester City striker arrived in January and bagged another brace in today’s 2-0 win over Palermo. 
“I think this is an important opportunity for Balotelli, as for the first time he is playing as a protagonist in a team full of youngsters,” said Coach Allegri.
“He is relaxed and an excellent professional. He has been on the European stage for seven or eight years, but this is his best chance so far to really show his qualities.
“We struggled a little today as we had some residual fatigue from Tuesday’s Champions League game with Barcelona, but we should’ve been more confident and better at keeping the ball.
“Stephan El Shaarawy is having an extraordinary season that nobody expected, so it’s only normal he will have a slight dip in form. He played well today and almost scored a goal, but at that moment I needed fresh legs. He needs to relax, as he is doing so well and his performances help the team just as much as goals.”
After crashing out of the Champions League, Milan are still just two points adrift of Napoli in second place.
“Now we have to focus only on the objective, which at one point seemed to be impossible. My future? I don’t know anything other than I have a contract until 2014.
“The President said nice things about me and the club put its faith in me when we didn’t have many points in the table. The rumours about a change of management have been going for some time and I find them amusing.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition  - £10,000 to be won!