Chelsea could lose out on one of their highest-profile summer transfer targets due to interest from free-spending Monaco, according to reports in the French press.
French newspaper Le 10 Sport, citing rumours in Italy, claims that Prince Albert II of Monaco has hinted that he would like to see Mario Balotelli plying his trade for the principality as of next season, despite the fact that he has no official position within the club.
The Prince is quoted as having openly endorsed the idea of bringing the former Manchester City striker to Ligue 1, though he did admit that there could be a risk factor if he were to make the move to the Stade Louis II.
“He is a character and a very special player,” he explained.
“He has an impressive talent, he can do amazing things. It is unpredictable on and off the field. Would take a risk, and I say this even though I'm open to everything."
The comments may be of interest to Jose Mourinho, who is said to have been eyeing a potential reunion with Balotelli as a way of improving his ailing front-line. The Blues’ front three of Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba have done little to convince the Special One that they are worthy of leading the line next year, and so he is looking at alternative options.
Ironically it’s Monaco’s Radamel Falcao who is believed to be Mourinho's other main target.