Mario Balotelli’s future certainly doesn’t look like it will continue at Liverpool.
The Italian striker, currently on loan at AC Milan, has admitted he wasn’t happy during his spell on Merseyside and wants to stay at the San Siro.
Yet Balotelli’s comments could leave him in limbo. Two weeks ago, Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani said the Rossoneri are unlikely to offer the striker a permanent contract.
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The 25-year-old reportedly met with Monaco president Dmitry Rybolovlev recently and sees a move to France as a backup.
Brendan Rodgers took a risk when he brought Balotelli to Anfield in August 2014 and that plan has certainly backfired.
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Following Milan’s 1-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday, the former Manchester City forward is quoted by The Guardian as saying: “When it comes to my future I want to stay with Milan because I wasn’t happy at Liverpool and I don’t want to return there.
“And plus, Milan has the money.”
Balotelli is hopeful of earning a deal
Balotelli has scored just three times in 19 appearances since returning to Italy but hopes his recent performances will warrant a permanent deal from the Milan.
“I’ve been doing well in my last two games, there are another six for me to prove myself,” he continued. “I feel in good shape physically at last and am relaxed.”
In all likelihood, Balotelli will return to Merseyside regardless of how he performs in the next six games.
Galliani told reporters, per Sky Sports: “We really like Mario, but he has to convince us to earn a permanent deal.
“Mario is feeling well. He is desperate to stay here at Milan. But like I have said before, he does not merit a permanent deal at the moment.”
So he will soon be Jurgen Klopp’s problem. The Liverpool boss is keen to offload Balotelli, according to The Guardian, who reported in February that the forward is drawing interest from China.
The development of Divock Origi, plus the talent of Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings, means Klopp doesn’t need to bring Balotelli’s disruptive figure back into the locker room.
And in Christian Benteke, he already has a striker not overly pleased to be playing for Liverpool.
What's next for Balotelli?
It’s easy to picture Balotelli playing for Monaco or any of the super-rich Chinese Super League clubs. If he wants to experience Champions League football, he’ll jump at the chance of joining the French outfit.
Leonardo Jardim’s team might be a staggering 28 points adrift of runaway champions Paris Saint-Germain, but they lead the race to secure second place, which guarantees qualification to the Champions League group phase.
But the thought of at least doubling his current basic £80,000-a-week wage in China might also appeal to Balotelli.