The question ‘what club would be crazy enough to want Mario Balotelli around this season?’ seems to have been answered by tiny Serie A side Chievo Verona, with the Liverpool flop thought to be keen on moving back to the north of Italy.
Chievo, who come from a small suburb on the outskirts of Verona and are owned by Paluani bakers, finished ninth in the Italian top flight last term, just two places below AC Milan, where Balotelli endured a poor campaign on loan.
Two league goals in 36 appearances over two seasons for the Rossoneri and Liverpool haven’t put off Gialloblu President Luca Campedelli, who told Italian media source Tuttosport ‘Dreaming costs nothing’ when asked about his alleged pursuit of the 25-year-old.
Campedelli also acknowledged ‘obvious difficulties in economic terms’ paying Balotelli’s colossal salary, but with few clubs ready to take a chance on the erstwhile Azzurri forward, and Liverpool desperate to get rid, an unlikely move can’t quite be ruled out.
The striker is reportedly receptive to the switch, which would mean moving to within an hour’s drive of his native Brescia, and with only fellow Italian small fries Sampdoria and Crotone rumoured to be showing any interest otherwise, Chievo could be Balotelli’s best bet.
His monstrous £90,000 per week wages would be a big problem for Campedelli’s outfit, but Liverpool subsidised Balotelli’s pay packet at Milan last term, which gives an indication as to how difficult dispensing with the former Manchester City and Inter forward’s services will be.
The Reds may be forced to do as much again if no club agrees to take over Balotelli’s contract, which seems likely even if Liverpool waive a fee for a player whose talents have persuaded clubs to part with over €60m over the past six years.
For Balotelli, it could be a choice between a pay cut or rotting in Liverpool’s U23 side for the foreseeable future.
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