Plug pulled on Liverpool deal for 26-year-old - report
By Tom Blackburn
Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli could stay at the club beyond the summer after his transfer to Pescara fell through, according to a report.
Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claimed last week that the Italian flop could move to Serie A club Chievo after he had lunch with the club’s sporting director.
But the Sun claim that Balotelli had been edging towards Pescara but the Italian minnows decided to pull the plug on the deal.
The striker is desperate to move away from Merseyside this summer, with manager Jurgen Klopp making it clear that there is no place for him in the first team set-up at Anfield.
The 26-year-old did appear to have a lifeline in Pescara, who are looking to make their mark in Serie A this season.
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But the newly promoted side’s president Daniele Sebastiani has ruled out a transfer.
“Balotelli and [Pablo] Osvaldo are great players. When they want to play they are top names, but they are not suitable for Pescara,” Sebastiani said, as quoted by the Sun.
Liverpool are attempting to find a club for Balotelli but it has proved problematic with the Italian struggling in previous seasons.
The former AC Milan forward joined the Reds in a £16million deal in August 2014.
Since his arrival at the club the 25-year-old has failed to live up to expectations, scoring just four goals in 28 appearances at the Merseyside outfit after being brought in to replace the departing Luis Suarez.
The Italy international missed out on this summer’s European Championships after suffering another wayward season in front of goal, bagging just three goals and providing one assist in Serie A this season while on loan to AC Milan.
The former Inter Milan goal-scorer has returned to Melwood to train under Jugen Klopp ahead of the new Premier League season but is now behind Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi in the pecking order, as well as Danny Ings and Christian Benteke.
The maverick centre-forward has enjoyed good spells in the Premier League before though, scoring 42 goals and notching seven assists in 93 appearance in all competitions in his three year spell with Manchester City.
In other Liverpool transfer news, Jamie Carragher pinpoints the position Liverpool need to sign a new player.