Liverpool looking to offload Mario Balotelli to sign Serie A duo
Premier League top four chances Liverpool (5/1 with Coral) are reportedly tracking Argentina international pair star striker Gonzalo Higuain of Napoli and Sampdoria stopper Sergio Romero in a bid to get back on track, as they are down in eighth this term so far.
However, with the Reds spending the bulk of their season transfer budget, most of it coming from the sale of Luis Suarez, they will need to offload a player or two.
Mario Balotelli, who has flopped since joining Liverpool in the summer scoring just twice in 18 appearances in all competitions, has been linked with a move back to Italy.
Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri confirmed: “We would like to recruit him, but we do not know if it is possible. Mario had a good season with me [at AC Milan].
“Unfortunately he’s built up a character outside of the world of football and everyone talks about what he does off the pitch. All coaches love to lead the best players.”
But that contrasts Juve general manager Giuseppe Marotta’s quotes, who said: “Balotelli is not the player we are willing to buy, we will go forward with this group, Balotelli is not what we are seeking.”
Despite that, Brendan Rodgers will still be hoping to get rid of the Italian striker, but he will have to accept a small loss from his £16m summer transfer. French giants PSG are also reported suitors.
Former Real Madrid frontman Higuain would be the perfect replacement for Balotelli, and his good fitness record would be a plus for Rodgers, who has been without Daniel Sturridge for much of the season.
While the Argentine failed to net in his first seven Serie A games this term, he has nine in his last 11, and 14 in all competitions. His 24 strikes in all competitions last season, meanwhile, helped the Naples outfit to win the Coppa Italia and finish third in the Italian top flight.
Higuain’s international teammate Romero is a Liverpool target as well, with Simon Mignolet struggling with form and confidence and Brad Jones not trusted as a regular number one. Romero was a key part of Argentina’s run to the World Cup final.
In other news, Red midfielder Lucas Leiva has also been linked with a move to Italy for £7m, with Napoli, Sampdoria and Inter Milan all targeting the Brazilian.