Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli is unlikely to return to Inter Milan, according to recently retired club legend Javier Zanetti.
The striker has struggled for form since his summer move to Liverpool but Inter’s vice-president thinks a return to the San Siro is not on the cards.
“A Balotelli return? We all know Mario is a great player but I think it’s difficult because he only just arrived at Liverpool," he said.
“In any case, after our game against Lazio we will hold meetings to see what we can do and what is needed in terms of the (transfer) market.”
The 24-year-old has struggled since returning to the Premier League in a £16 million move from AC Milan; in 10 appearances he is yet to find the back of the net. The Italian has only scored two goals, one in the Champions League and the other in the Capital One Cup.
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Balotelli enjoyed some good form during his previous spell in the Serie A with Inter’s city rivals Milan, scoring 26 goals in 43 games, but the Rossoneri were after a more conventional striker.
The Italy international came through Inter’s youth academy and was part of the side that won the treble. Before being sold to Manchester City, he scored 28 goals in 86 appearances.
Naturally, being Balotelli, his first spell with Inter Milan had controversial moments, during a post-match interview the striker donned an AC Milan shirt with a big grin resulting in Jose Mourinho calling the striker “unmanageable”.
Inter Milan struggles
Inter have struggled for success and recent years and it is understood that the club want to boost their attacking options. The club’s new owner Erick Thohir seems happy to throw money around.
The move would see Roberto Mancini and the striker reunited for a second time. Mancini was the manager of Inter returned to the club last month after a six year absence and oversaw Balotelli’s introduction to the senior side.
The mercurial striker then followed his old boss to Manchester City but their relationship soured with Mancini reportedly throwing suitcases at Balotelli after a Europa League match. The final straw came in January 2013 when the two scrapped on the training ground and Balotelli was sold as a result.