Mario Balotelli is the focus of many transfer rumours every window and this summer is no different. The out-of-favour Liverpool striker has reportedly been a target for numerous Serie A sides this summer including Sassuolo, Bologna and Lazio. The Italian has also been linked with more speculative moves including Everton and Manchester United – as well as an audacious and ridiculous link with League One side Port Vale. However, it is almost certain that the Italian will not be at Anfield come September 1st.
Serie A Return?
Serie A seems the likely destination for Balotelli this summer. The 26-year-old striker spent last season on loan at AC Milan, but struggled at the San Siro, scoring just once in 20 appearances in Serie A. However, despite his disappointing form over the past couple of seasons, numerous Italian clubs are interested in the striker. However, one Italian club that Balotelli will not sign for is Sassuolo. Earlier this week the club’s chief executive Giovanni Carnevali told Italian media “Raiola [Balotelli’s agent] offered us Balotelli, but we refused.”
Chievo Verona are also reportedly interested in Balotelli but will only take the 26-year-old on loan if Liverpool pay most of his wages. Meanwhile, Bologna are also reportedly keen on the flamboyant striker, but club president Joey Saputo claimed that “players aren’t bought for marketing purposes.” Lazio are also interested in taking a gamble on the unpredictable striker as they hope the Italian will discover his form of 2012.
Reports of FC Sion Talks
There is, however, a realistic alternative to Serie A for Balotelli in the form of Swiss Super League side FC Sion. The Swiss club drew twice with Liverpool in last year’s Europa League group stage and finished sixth in the Swiss Super League last season. Sion chairman Christian Constantin confirmed that he was in talks with Balotelli’s representatives earlier this week. The 59-year-old told Swiss news website Ticinonews that “I can confirm we’re discussing about a possible loan of Balotelli. We’re progressing but I can’t say yet if the transfer will be successful or not.” The deal is expected to be a season-long loan.
Unrealistic destinations for Balotelli
Reports linking Balotelli with Manchester United, Everton and even Port Vale shows that there is no limit to the ridiculousness of transfer rumours. It is very unlikely that the striker will join Manchester United, despite his good relationship with Jose Mourinho, for a number of reasons. Firstly, Liverpool and Manchester United rarely sell to each other and perhaps more importantly United already have sufficient attacking options in Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Wayne Rooney. However, despite this, Football Italia has linked the 26-year-old with a move to Old Trafford.
Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton have also been linked with the striker, but this again seems very unlikely for similar reasons as for why the Italian would not join Manchester United.
The striker has also been involved in one of the most ridiculous transfer rumours of the window as he has been linked to League One side Port Vale. It seems that Balotelli will continually be linked with bizarre moves away from Liverpool until he eventually leaves the club. However, a return to Italy still seems a very likely scenario for the out-of-choice striker.