Mancini is demanding a shift in attitude and application from the striker.
"The relationship between me and him is always good, even if one day he does something," he said.
"I love him because for many years we live together. I've seen him grow. But the professional relationship is another thing and I've told Mario what I need from him.
"The time of cheap talk is over. Balotelli is 22 years old and now it's time to be professional. I ask from him seriousness and commitment in training, a more stable private life and correct behaviour on the pitch.
"[Roma forward Francesco] Totti is Mario's best example. If Francesco is able to have this continuity of performance at the highest level at the age of 36 years, it's because he has behaved as a professional.
"Mario now has returned to training and could be on the bench against Stoke. Otherwise, he could play against Watford in the FA Cup on January 5."