Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero has expressed his interest in signing Mario Balotelli.
Balotelli left AC Milan for Liverpool last summer for £16 million, however, the 24-year-old has been a flop at Anfield.
The ex-Manchester City man has managed just four goals at the Merseyside club this
season and many of his performances have been well below par.
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Brendan Rodgers has increasingly become more frustrated with the Italian international
and has started just eight games in the Premier League.
Balotelli, who earns £100,000 a week at Liverpool, has failed to live up to the weighty price-tag
paid by the five-time European Cup winners and Rodgers would likely snap the hand off any offer that matched the club’s valuation of the striker.
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The Ghana-native has been heavily linked for a move back to Italy this summer and it seems that Sampdoria could make a move for Balotelli – however, the forward would have to take a substantial pay-cut if he was to move to the Genoa-based side.
“I would take him -- he’d be the real Balotelli again here. He wouldn’t have too much pressure here in Genoa,” Ferrero told La Gazzetta dello Sport
“He’s lost his hunger. He’s earning too much. If he was only on bread and water, he’d be a champion again.”
Balotelli has been one of the worst Liverpool purchases in recent years and become a pantomime villain at the club.
He arrived on Merseyside with promise and many believed if the striker could finally find his feet at the club, he could fulfill his potential he's shown so often.
However, that has not been the case and instead Balotelli has frustrated and angered Kopites throughout the season.
Most of the time when given a call-up by Rodgers, Balotelli has strolled around the pitch at his own pace and failed to work to win the ball back for his team. His lack of movement too when Liverpool go forward has also seen the Reds play slow football that is easily read by the opposition.
There have been signs of promise from Balotelli - his debut during Liverpool's 3-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur when playing alongside Daniel Sturridge showed that the former Inter Milan man does have potential.
After spending over £100 million last summer, it's likely that Rodgers will not get a large transfer fund from owners, Fenway Sports Group, this year.
Therefore, the Northern Irishman will have to sell players in order to gain funds for new recruits.
It's likely that Liverpool will not get the £16 million they paid for Balotelli - however anything in the region of £10-12 million would likely be accepted.
Add that to a similar price to Fabio Borini, who looks certain to leave Anfield this summer, and Rodgers could have a decent war chest to draft in a new forward.
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