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Mario Balotelli transfer: Man Utd & Arsenal among 5 Premier League clubs who should gamble on maverick Nice striker as he looks for return to England

A Mario Balotelli transfer back to the Premier League could be on the cards this summer if quotes from his agent Mino Raiola are anything to go by.

The Nice striker is reportedly available on a free transfer and his representative Mino Raiola says he’s held talks with clubs from Serie A and England, report the Daily Mirror.

Balotelli notably flopped in his most recent spell in English football as he scored just one league goal in 16 appearances for Liverpool, looking far from the player he looked at AC Milan.

Balotelli

Mario Balotelli has shone for Ligue 1 side Nice

Still, he’s been on fire again in France, scoring 39 goals in 58 games for Nice to prompt his agent Raiola to describe him as being among the top ten strikers in the world and worth as much as £88million.

Balotelli certainly showed flashes of world class potential during his Manchester City days, so here’s our take on five Premier League clubs who could do with gambling on him at this stage…

Manchester United

Raiola is well-connected at Old Trafford, with Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku among his clients, as of course was Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

So could that help engineer a reunion between Balotelli and Jose Mourinho at United? The pair worked together at Inter Milan and though their relationship was short-lived, there seemed some chemistry and potential for success.

Balotelli-Mourinho

Could Mario Balotelli and Jose Mourinho work together again?

Mourinho has in the past been just the kind of character needed to get big egos to perform for him, as he notably turned Didier Drogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic into world class players when their careers threatened to stall somewhat.

The Balotelli transfer could be a more ambitious job, but given he’d be available on a free and could be an ideal squad player to take the heat off Lukaku and replace the ageing Ibrahimovic, it looks a risk worth taking for the Red Devils.

Arsenal

Let’s face it, Arsenal could do with some characters in this under-achieving and lifeless squad.

It’s been another nightmarish season at the Emirates Stadium and while the Balotelli transfer would have the potential to back-fire, it could also prove a masterstroke if he comes in under the right manager.

Arsene Wenger’s future will surely be up for review again if the club fail to make the top four for a second season in a row, so if Arsenal were to appoint someone like Carlo Ancelotti or Diego Simeone, they could be ideal to get the best out of the fiery Balotelli.

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli flopped at Liverpool but could return to the Premier League

Chelsea

It’s all gone a bit wrong for Chelsea in the striker department recently, with Alvaro Morata not looking anything like the kind of player needed to fill the big boots left by Diego Costa.

Balotelli would be a similar level of hot-head up front for the Blues, and on current form looks a significant upgrade on the likes of Morata and Olivier Giroud anyway.

If Antonio Conte stays then there’s the obvious Italian connection that could work, even if the pair haven’t quite hit it off in the past with the Italy national side.

Again, however, Conte’s future at the Bridge is by no means certain, so a new manager could do well to snap up Balotelli on a free and make a fresh start.

Everton

If big clubs don’t want to take a punt on the Balotelli transfer, someone like Everton could do well to push the boat out for him.

The 27-year-old looks a necessary purchase for a club short of quality up front after losing Romelu Lukaku to United last summer.

And while Balotelli and Sam Allardyce don’t seem an obvious fit, let’s not forget Big Sam has worked with big egos and difficult characters before and got the best out of them – El Hadji Diouf, anyone?

Balotelli

Mario Balotelli transfer could be worth a gamble for Everton or West Ham

West Ham

Finally, West Ham seem just like the kind of club who could be tempted by the Balotelli transfer.

With more money than sense, the Hammers love a big name if they can manage it, but in this case there seems some potential for things to really work out.

We all love a West Ham side with some characters, and in Balotelli they’d have an ideal heir to the eccentric Italian throne left vacant for some time by Paolo Di Canio.

Plus they really can’t keep rely on Andy Carroll forever…

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