Liverpool are reportedly hoping to conclude a deal for the hugely controversial Italian striker Mario Balotelli. Brendan Rodgers has made the AC Milan forward his highest priority transfer target as he looks to bring in a suitable replacement for Luis Suarez according to The Daily Star.
MARIO BALOTELLI could be set for a return to the Premier League after reports from Italy indicated Liverpool are set to bid for the striker.
The striker is believed to be unsettled in Italy. He has been the subject to a number of racial taunts from fans while playing in Serie A and sees a move back to England as an opportunity to get away such events.
With supposed interest from Arsenal now cooling, it appears as if Balotelli has limited options if he wants to play at the highest level. Manchester United are unlikely to make a bid for him, Chelsea have Diego Costa and Didier Drogba and a move back to The Etihad is almost certainly off the table.
This leaves just Liverpool as a realistic destination if the 24-year-old wants to challenge for major honours.
This gives manager Rodgers a chance to bring in a proven striker at a relatively cheap price. The same source indicates Liverpool may only have to pay £17.5 million to land the forward and could even push for a season-long loan before choosing to sign him permanently. The only issue would be whether Balotelli could work effectively with Daniel Sturridge, creating a partnership similar to the one he shared with Luis Suarez.
Balotelli joined the Italian outfit in 2013 for a fee of £19 million after spending several season at Manchester City. His fractious relationship with former manager Roberto Mancini and the fact that the club had players such as Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko ahead of him meant he got little game time at The Premier League champions.
However, he still posed a goal scoring threat when he made appearances, scoring 30 times in 80 games for Manchester City. Since joining AC Milan he has played more regularly and improved his form in front of goal, netting 30 times in 54 appearances.
If Balotelli comes to Liverpool he would be the tenth addition of a frantic summer after Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Javi Manquillo, Lazar Markovic, Alberto Moreno, Divock Origi and Kevin Stewartal joined the club.
Let’s see some super Mario. Liverpool fans: a worthwhile investment?