Liverpool striker offered captain’s role at new club after Italy snub

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He may not be representing Italy in the Euro (or for a while), but Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli still has an opportunity to claim a big role in his home country next season. If he chooses to make a move to Serie A newcomers FC Crotone, he’ll find a captain’s armband waiting for him.

According to Squawka News via Gazzetta dello Sport, Crotone president Raffaele Vrenna said he’s willing to name the struggling Balotelli the team’s captain if he signs up with the newly-promoted Italian outfit. However, he qualified his statement by adding that the price could be a hindrance.

“If he accepts to join us, I’ll give him the captain’s armband,” president Raffaele Vrenna said, as reported by Gazzetta dello Sport. “The problem is Liverpool’s salary.”

FC Crotone earned Serie A promotion for the first time in its 106-year history after finishing second in Serie B this past year.

Balotelli was left off the Italy squad for Euro 2016 and has not been capped for his country since 2014.

In 2014, Balotelli signed with Liverpool for £16 million, with the expectation that the former Man City and Milan superstar would replace Luis Suarez. Unfortunately, the move did not work out in the 2014-15 season as he made just 16 Premier League appearances, scoring one goal in the process.

The following season Balotelli was loaned back to AC Milan but saw little improvement, scoring once in 20 Serie A appearances this past season.

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