The president of the Serie A side, Massimo Ferrero, has confirmed that he is interested in bringing the 24-year-old to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, but may need the fee to be cut to follow through on it.
“They told me that Mario was yesterday in Genoa,” Ferrero said, “he costs €10m but, with discount, you look with open arms.”
Even if the Merseyside club manage to sell for £7.1 million, it will be a major loss on the £16 million they paid for the ex-Manchester City striker last summer [BBC]. This would also be a sad indictment on how the player’s reputation has dropped since the Citizens bought him for around £24 million in 2010 [BBC].
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The Italy international scored a paltry four goals in 28 appearances in all competitions during his debut Reds campaign, and has struggled to live up to the potential he displayed at Inter Milan early in his career. Spells at City and AC Milan have both been marred by unsavoury incidents, with one notable example being when he let fireworks off in his bathroom [The Guardian], and underwhelming goalscoring records.
Manager Brendan Rodgers now seems happy to let him move on again after signing Danny Ings and Christian Benteke to boost his striking options this summer. The latter, especially, is a very similar player to Balotelli, known for his physical presence and ability to lead the line.