Poor old Mario Balotelli.
The Italian was once one of the most sought-after young players in world football after establishing himself in Inter Milan’s first-team during his teenage years before a €21.8 million move to Manchester City in 2010.
Fast forward six years and Balotelli is unwanted by pretty much everyone, it seems.
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Jurgen Klopp doesn’t want him at Liverpool and the club are struggling to find any potential suitors with time fast running out.
Balotelli spent the entirety of last campaign at his former club, AC Milan, where he scored just three goals in 23 appearances. Midway through the season, shortly after Klopp arrived on Merseyside, he informed Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raiola, that he needed to find a new club at the end of the season.
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But it’s as though Raiola had more important things to sort out this summer as he’s seemingly failed to find the Italian striker a new club.
Numerous clubs from England and further afield have snubbed the chance to sign Balotelli for a cut-price with Serie A outfit Sassuolo the latest to reject the chance to sign him. Giovanni Carnevali, the club's chief executive told Italian TV: “Raiola offered us Balotelli but we refused.”
Balotelli’s future definitely looks uncertain.
Balotelli is 'certain' to leave this summer
However, according to James Pearce from the Liverpool Echo, one thing is for sure. He claims he is ‘certain’ that Balotelli won’t be a Liverpool player come September 1.
We're not sure why that's a certainty - especially as there are no clubs interested in signing him - but Pearce seems convinced.
Klopp left the enigmatic player out of the club’s tour of America and hasn’t called upon him during any of Liverpool’s fixtures so far this season. Earlier this summer, he explained why Balotelli isn’t in his plans this season.
Klopp on Balotelli
“He’s not at the stage of his career where he should be battling with four or five other players for one or two positions,” Klopp said last month.
“I have spoken clearly to the player about that. There will be a club around who would be happy to have a new Mario Balotelli if you like.”
Klopp may have demanded that Liverpool recoup exactly what they paid for Christian Benteke last week when they allowed him to leave for Crystal Palace in a deal worth £32 million. However, the chances of Balotelli commanding the £16 million fee the Reds paid for him back in 2014 looks extremely slim.
In fact, they will probably be willing to accept almost any offer for the forward as long as his £90,000-per-week deal is removed from the club's books.
If a permanent deal isn’t possible, Klopp will probably be willing to loan out Balotelli on a season-long loan.
Worse still, the club may be forced to terminate his contract, which has one year remaining, and would cost them millions in compensation.