Liverpool’s failed Mario Balotelli experiment is nearing an end.
The Italian striker spent last season on loan at AC Milan after enduring a difficult season at Anfield in 2014-15.
It became pretty clear that Balotelli would have no future at Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp arrived last October and now his agent, Mino Raiola, has confirmed that ties are close to being cut.
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The former Manchester City player has expressed his desire to stay at the San Siro but Milan have no interest in signing him to a permanent deal.
Which is hardly surprising. Balotelli scored three goals in 23 appearances for the Rossoneri, failing to do enough to impress Milan president Silvio Berlusconi.
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Moves to Monaco and China have been mentioned but Raiola has admitted that he is waiting to hear back from Besiktas after enquiring about the Turkish side’s interest.
“I offered Mario to Besiktas and I’m waiting for their answer,” Raiola told Turkish outlet Spox.com.tr, per the Daily Mail.
“But I’m quite sure the transfer will happen, as the president already assumed me in the past that he would do everything he can to sign him.”
Balotelli wouldn't fit under Klopp
The move will signal Balotelli’s descent from once being a hot prospect when he signed for City in 2010. The fact that he will move to his fourth different team since leaving Inter Milan six years ago - which includes two spells at AC Milan - says a lot about the forward.
Though Klopp hasn’t had an opportunity to watch Balotelli up close, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the Italian wouldn’t fit in the former Borussia Dortmund manager’s intense system.
The likes of Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana have both shown a willingness to comply with Klopp’s tactical demands, and are heavily admired for it.
But it’s hard to imagine Balotelli sprinting 40 yards to hurry a defender.
He’s also quite far down the pecking order at Liverpool. Daniel Sturridge enjoyed a fine end to the season, while Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Christian Benteke provide the England international with worthy competition.
And there could be another striker arriving at Anfield, and he would walk into the starting line-up.
According to the Daily Mail, Roberto Lewandowski is keen to reunite with Jurgen Klopp. The Polish striker has reportedly grown restless at Bayern Munich and, after spending the past six seasons in Germany, is seeking a new challenge.
Lewandowski would only considering signing for Liverpool if they qualify for the Champions League. That should provide enough incentive for the Reds to finish in the top four next season.