Serie A outfit await Liverpool answer on ‘fascinating proposition’ while £20m Anfield flop nears exit too

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Liverpool duo Mario Balotelli and Lazar Markovic could both be set to leave Anfield before the transfer deadline at the end of the month.

Balotelli has been linked with a number of clubs this summer, but has steadily seen many of them reject a chance to sign him or fail to reach an agreement with the Reds.

However, as noted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Palermo could now be closing in on a move to take him back to his place of birth, with vice-president Guglielmo Micciche discussing their bid for the Italian forward.

“It’s a very fascinating proposition,” Micchiche said. “It’s a very difficult operation, but we’re trying. It would be a great coup for president [Maurizio] Zamparini, a gift for all of the fans.

“We’ve made an offer and now the ball is in Liverpool and the player’s court. His salary is high and he has a pool of sponsors, so it’s not an easy solution, but Palermo could be just the right place for him.

“He was born in Palermo and we consider him a citizen of Palermo. This city would welcome him with open arms, he would be adored here. A player like him would be a dream for Palermo and he could be the leader of this team.”

Balotelli spent last season on loan at AC Milan but after suffering with a troublesome injury and a lack of form, he was unable to convince the Rossoneri to sign him in a permanent deal.

Having returned to Liverpool this summer, Jurgen Klopp left him out of his pre-season squad and the start of the campaign while he has also been training with the youth team.

In turn, it’s clear that the 26-year-old needs to move on, and this move will now be crucial as it may well be the last chance that he gets in Europe.

A move to Palermo could be the perfect deal as it holds sentimental value and will give him an opportunity to establish himself as the team’s focal point. However, it remains to be seen as to whether or not it works out so smoothly.

Meanwhile, the Liverpool Echo claim that Markovic could be following Balotelli out of the exit door as the Serbian winger is available for loan and the club are considering offers prior to the deadline.

The 22-year-old was also out on loan last season but failed to impress, and after arriving in a £20m deal two years ago, his struggles have continued with just three goals in 34 appearances for the Reds and Klopp is seemingly keen for him to gain playing time elsewhere with so much competition for places on Merseyside already.

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