By Italy correspondent Gianluigi Carrozzini

Sampdoria have stepped up their Mario Balotelli pursuit by holding fresh talks with his representatives, Football Insider sources understand.

The Serie A club have targeted the Anfield outcast as they prepare to reinforce their forward ranks.

Sampdoria chiefs have held discussions with Balotelli’s high-profile agent Mino Raiola in recent days in a new attempt to persuade the striker to return to Italy.

Liverpool have made it clear that there is no place for the 25-year-old in the first-team squad this season and he will be allowed to leave if the right offer arrives.

The Merseysiders have given Raiola permission to negotiate a transfer for his client, who has been ordered to train separately to the senior squad at the club’s Melwood headquarters.

As reported by Football Insider, the Merseysiders will listen to offers for Balotelli this summer as well as his Italian team-mate Fabio Borini.

Balotelli had a disastrous season for Liverpool after signing from AC Milan in a £16million deal last summer. He has scored just four goals in 28 appearances, only one of which has been in the Premier League.