Signing for Nice following an unsuccessful loan spell at AC Milan in the summer of 2016 is arguably the best footballing decision that Mario Balotelli has made during his topsy-turvy career.
The Italian striker has been out of the spotlight at the Allianz Riviera, which has allowed him to concentrate solely on football.
The result? Balotelli, who appears to have matured as an individual over the past couple of years, has scored 35 goals in 51 appearances for the French outfit. A very impressive, not to mention eye-catching, return.
But given his track record and all the baggage that has come with him throughout his career, will another top club be prepared to take one final chance on the mercurial forward?
Balotelli is no spring chicken - he turns 28 in August - but this is a player entering the peak years of his career who has demonstrated that he can score goals at the highest level.
Any top club could be forgiven for wanting to steer clear of Balotelli after everything that’s happened in the past, both on and off the field.
Balotelli set to secure shock move
However, according to The Sun, there is one elite-level European club that want to sign the Italy international.
Juventus - yes, Juventus - are reportedly close to snapping up the centre-forward in what would represent a significant gamble by the Serie A outfit.
The Sun claim that a five-year contract has already been drawn up for the striker, who will pocket a considerable signing-on bonus, and the deal will be completed as a free transfer in the summer.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the potential deal has been orchestrated by Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola, who has a close relationship with Juve. The Italian-born Dutch football agent also represents Blaise Matuidi and Moise Kean, while his world-famous client Zlatan Ibrahimovic also spent a couple of seasons with the Bianconeri.
What Gianluigi Buffon thinks of Juventus signing Balotelli
Interestingly, The Sun also claim that Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus’s legendary goalkeeper, is particularly keen on the idea of signing Balotelli.
The World Cup winner, who turns 40 later this week, believes the move would also benefit the Italian national team, which failed to qualify for this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.
It’s understood that Balotelli would be signed to play a key role in the Juventus first team. He would not be signed as a back-up for Gonzalo Higuain, who has netted nine goals in 19 league appearances this term.
Are Juventus making a huge mistake even considering the idea of signing Mario Balotelli - or would it be a masterstroke? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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