By Alex Taylor

Ajax are ready to make a concerted attempt to sign Mario Balotelli, according to a report.

Sky Sports Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claims on his website that there has already been contact between the 1995 Champions League winners and Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola.

It is said that Ajax’s qualification on Wednesday night for the Champions League play-off round has opened up the possibility of a move from Anfield for the controversial striker.

Balotelli has emerged as one of the Dutch outfit’s primary transfer target this summer as they look to add more firepower to their squad after finishing second in the Eredivisie last season.

Balotelli arrived in 2014 from AC Milan in a £16million move, but failed to make his mark in his first campaign.

The Italian was shipped out on loan back to Italy last season, but again struggled for form and returned to Liverpool this summer for pre-season.

The maverick forward has picked up more yellow cards than goals for Liverpool in his 28 games for the Reds, scoring just four times and entering the book seven times respectively

Balotelli was left out of the clubs pre-season tour of America after initially training with the first-team earlier in the summer.

In other Liverpool transfer news, former Manchester United centre-back Nemanja Vidic has revealed he was interested in joining arch rivals Liverpool, prior to his move to Old Trafford.