Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli problem might just be nearing an end.
The troubled striker, currently on loan at AC Milan, recently admitted that he wants to leave Anfield and stay at the San Siro.
And the Italian might get his wish. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport (per the Mirror), Milan are keen to sign Balotelli on a permanent deal.
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The 25-year-old has failed to revive his career in Italy, scoring just three goals in 20 appearances, but it’s likely that Milan will be able to sign Balotelli on a cut-price deal due to Jurgen Klopp’s eagerness to sell.
The Italian newspaper claim that San Siro chiefs wish to meet with Liverpool to settle a fee for Balotelli, who arrived on Merseyside in August 2014.
The report contrasts Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani’s recent claims that the Rossoneri are unwilling to offer Balotelli a permanent deal.
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.”
Balotelli wants to stay at Milan
What’s changed in the weeks since Galliani made those claims isn’t clear - he certainly hasn’t done anything noteworthy on the pitch - yet Milan’s thinking has apparently reversed. Perhaps the Italian giants are a big fan of Balotelli’s commitment to the club.
He recently expressed his desire to stay in Italy and claimed he wasn’t happy during his one season at Anfield.
He 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. I feel in good shape physically at last and am relaxed.”
Despite his recent loss of form, Balotelli will still attract interest from Europe’s top clubs. He reportedly met with Monaco president Dmitry Rybolovlev.
So he won’t be without his suitors, regardless of whether he completes a move to Milan.
The former Inter Milan forward isn’t a part of Liverpool’s future, with Klopp keen to offload him according to The Guardian.
It’s no surprise that Klopp doesn’t include Balotelli in his plans. Divock Origi’s emergence, added to the talents of Daniel Sturridge and Daniel Ings, means the Italian would almost certainly be reduced to a spot on the bench.
Given the promise the Reds have shown this season, reaching the final of the Capital One Cup and semi-final of the Europa League, it wouldn’t be in Klopp’s best interests to reintegrate a disruptive figure like Balotelli into his squad.