Italian football team manager Gabriele Oriali has asserted that striker Mario Balotelli’s possible return to the national squad may be affected by his poor on-field discipline this season.

Balotelli, who has scored nine league goals so far for French Ligue 1 side Nice, has picked up three red cards this season, reports Xinhua news agency.

Oriali on Tuesday emphasised the team’s code of ethics in front of reporters.

“There are a few clear rules that must be respected, then the rules that clubs have,” he said. 

“Mario’s possibility of returning to the national squad depends on himself.” 

Balotelli received his third red card of the season in a 1-0 away victory over Lorient last weekend, although his first, also against the bottom-ranked team last October, was later overturned. 

He will miss Friday’s home clash with Montpellier, along with the team’s top scorer Alassane Plea, who is sidelined for the rest of the season due to a knee injury. 

Balotelli made his last appearance for the Italian team at the FIFA World Cup in 2014.