Liverpool flop Mario Balotelli is being targeted by Besiktas as a replacement for the departing Demba Ba, reports Turkish publication Haberturk.
Ba is expected to leave the Ataturk Olympic stadium as he wants to return to England, and the Anfield flop could be his replacement.
The Turkish side are targeting him despite his recent terrible campaign, in which the 24-year-old scored just four goals in 28 appearances for the Reds.
This awful debut season could also mean that the Reds are willing to let the Italy international leave the club even though he joined less than a year ago. However, the Daily Express believes that they would prefer to get rid of Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini ahead of the mercurial forward, and this could lead to some problems for Besiktas.
With Liverpool making Aston Villa star Christian Benteke their top transfer target according to club legend Ray Houghton, as talkSPORT reported, it could mean that Balotelli’s playing time is reduced next season. Manager Brendan Rodgers is likely to use Daniel Sturridge and the Belgian ahead of the former AC Milan man if he is successful in his endeavours.
Benteke may have had fitness problems and injury concerns over the last 12 months, but the powerful forward still managed 13 goals in 29 appearances in the Premier League, as well as two in five in the FA Cup as Villa made the final. The 24-year-old Benteke would represent a considerable upgrade on Balotelli, considering the former AC Milan man’s recent form.
With this in mind, it is debatable whether Balotelli would be happy to act as a backup to the pair.
The Italy international likes to be the main man when on the pitch, as he demonstrated in a row over who took a penalty with Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge during a 1-0 win over potential suitors Besiktas last season.