According to reports in Italy, Liverpool have had an offer to exchange Mario Balotelli for M’Baye Niang turned down by AC Milan.
Balotelli has endured a difficult campaign back in Italy this season, with injury woes limiting him to just 22 appearances in all competitions while he has managed just three goals and one assist in those outings.
In turn, it isn’t expected to be enough to convince the Rossoneri that they should turn his loan deal into a permanent one, which will pave the way for a return to Anfield this summer.
According to Sky Sport Italia pundit Gianluca Di Marzio, Liverpool offered Balotelli to Milan in exchange for Niang, but the Premier League outfit were met with a definitive no with the difference in age, valuation and future ceiling all contributing to the emphatic answer.
Niang has contributed eight goals and five assists in 20 games this season, although similarly to Balotelli, he has been sidelined for a significant part of it through injury.
Nevertheless, although the young forward still has his doubters, he is evidently highly thought of by those at the club and in turn it’s unlikely that they will be willing to negotiate a deal involving him for Balotelli or otherwise.
As for Balotelli, he now faces a decisive summer in terms of his long-term future as it is debatable as to whether or not he fits into Jurgen Klopp’s plans moving forward.
If Milan don’t wish to sign him, then his options really are running out, and he may well have to settle for either a move to a ‘smaller’ club, or try his luck in a league not considered to be one of the major leagues in Europe.