Friday 9 December 2016

£16m flop Balotelli set for move to China

Chris Bascombe

Published 20/02/2016 | 02:30

Mario Balotelli has been described as 'and Italian who has taken too much sun' by Silvio Berlusconi
Mario Balotelli has been described as 'and Italian who has taken too much sun' by Silvio Berlusconi

Mario Balotelli will be offered to a host of Chinese Super League clubs in Liverpool's latest attempt to offload their £16m flop.

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Balotelli has been on loan to AC Milan since August and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has made it clear that he does not want the enigmatic Italian back at Anfield.

Any hope that the 25-year-old's return to Serie A would prompt AC Milan to turn the loan deal into a permanent move has evaporated.

Although injury has played its part, Balotelli has made only 10 appearances for Milan and incurred the wrath of manager Sinisa Mihajlovic last weekend as one of several players whose work-rate was questioned.

Several Turkish clubs have previously shown an interest in the striker, but the lucrative and flourishing Chinese Super League is a more likely destination.

With a fully-fit squad, Klopp has Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings, Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke to choose from, so bringing back Balotelli, who is being paid £80,000 a week , is not on the German's agenda.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are edging closer to securing a naming rights deal for their new Main Stand, which is due to open at the start of next season. There are three companies - believed to be from the Far East - in negotiations.

Liverpool are hopeful of securing a 10-year contract worth up to £9m per year, which would go some way to repaying the £120m cost.

Irish Independent

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