By Will Butcher
Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has travelled to Nice to discuss a potential move to the ambitious French side, according to a report.
The 26-year-old forward has been told he can leave Anfield just two years after signing for £16million, following a nightmare stay in Merseyside.
Football website Goal have reported that the former Manchester City star has travelled to the south coast of France, as he looks to breathe life into his stagnating career.
Nice manager Lucien Favre, who guided Les Aiglons to an impressive fourth in Ligue 1 last term, said: “I don’t know him personally, but if he runs and wants to help the youngsters, then why not? If he doesn’t want to run, then there’s no way he’ll come here.”
With an upcoming Europa League campaign on the horizon, Swiss boss Favre wants proven European experience and Balotelli could be the man to provide that.
Champions League winner Balotelli has less than 12 months remaining on his contract and is desperate to find a new club to prove that he can live up to his potential.
Italian broadcaster Sport Italia, as cited by website Football Italia, claim that Merseyside rivals Everton have also been offered Balotelli by his agent Mino Raiola, who masterminded the world-record transfer of Paul Pogba to Manchester United this summer.
Balotelli, who has played for both Milan clubs, has failed to live up to expectations. He’s scored just four goals in 28 appearances in a Liverpool shirt after being brought in to replace the departing Luis Suarez by former manager Brendan Rodgers.
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 while on loan to AC Milan.
In other Liverpool transfer news, this goalkeeper target will not be joining Europa League champions Sevilla this season.