Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been offered an escape route following a difficult season at Anfield, by ambitious Italian third division side Lupa Castelli, the Daily
The club’s honorary president Marco Amelia claimed: “Our intention is to bring our friend, Balotelli, here, a player who at this time needs to start afresh because we see that he does not want to play anymore, has fans opposing him and is no longer able to show his quality.”
The Lazio-based side have enjoyed a brisk rise through the Italian game. Having been formed in 2013, the side have enjoyed two consecutive promotions, and are now looking forward to a campaign in the Serie C, two tiers below the top flight. Nevertheless, it would represent a huge step down for the 24-year-old, but highlights his plight in an alarmingly short space of time.
Having made his name at Inter Milan, he emerged as one of the biggest prospects in Europe while with Manchester City. Despite making the most famous assist in the Citizens’ history – as his pass allowed Sergio Aguero to clinch the Premier League title in 2012 – controversy seemed to follow the forward however.
Once he left the Etihad, he started to rebuild his career with AC Milan, prompting Liverpool to spend £16m last summer (via BBC Sport). The move suggested desperation on Brendan Rodgers’ part, as he tried to bolster his attacking options as the transfer window’s closure loomed.
And he never managed to justify his fee, scoring just once in 16 Premier League games. With Danny Ings and Christian Benteke joining, and Divock Origi arriving this summer, it seems unlikely that the Italian will enjoy much time on the pitch during the upcoming campaign, should he remain on Merseyside.
He reportedly offered himself to former club Inter Milan (via Metro), in the hope that old boss Roberto Mancini may be able to get the best out of him – having appeared to have done so during their time together in England – but the Nerazzurri rejected the chance to take him back.
With his potential options appearing to run out, a club that few outside of Italy would have heard of previously, may just pull off one of the most surprising deals of the summer.