Manchester - Canal Street's Premiership sluts are up in arms amid claims the Man City star doshed up a 'lonely tramp' with a £1,000 gambling bung.
The bemused bagman was spotted outside the 666 Casino fingering a hefty wedge given to him by the £100,000-a-week ex-Inter Milan striker.
Some casino patrons said today they reckon the vagrant 'was really an undercover red top reporter' on a name-and-shame Premiership coke snorting assignment.
"Sure the guy looked a bit rough around the edges," local blackjack player Rudi Nutzz commented.
"But slagging him off for dodgy morals? The guy's just doing his job."
Balotelli apparently won £25,000 in a game of five card stud during a night out with Blackburn Rovers' Chris Samba.
Last month the Sunday Smearer said the £24 million Italian singing got let off with a slap on the wrist 'for throwing poison-tipped blow darts' at Man City junior players during training.
"They made that up," Nutzz added, "not to be outdone by a rival red top's Ashley Cole air rifle shooting of an intern story."
Lionel Messi is 69.