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Report: Barnsley enquire about signing Mario Balotelli

According to reports from The Mirror, Championship side Barnsley have enquired about the possibility of signing former Liverpool and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

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The Italian is a free agent after his contract with Serie A outfit Brescia was terminated for repeatedly missing training.

It leaves the 30-year-old once again in the market for a new club and discussions have been held with the Tykes, who currently sit 16th in the Championship table.

Barnsley co-chariman Chein Lee and Paul Conway have spoken with Balotelli’s representatives but a move has yet to materialise as of yet.

Last month, there were reports that Watford were interested in the Premier League-winning striker, who is currently training with Serie D side Franciacorta to maintain his fitness.

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Balotelli hasn’t been spotted in England since he last was seen playing for Liverpool.

 

The former Inter Milan star was signed by now Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers back in 2014, but was an overwhelming failure during his time at Anfield clocking up just four goals in 28 games.

Reflecting on the move, Rodgers believes the timing of Balotelli’s Anfield arrival was unfortunate given he was expected to help fill the gargantuan void left by Luis Suarez, who joined Barcelona that same summer.

“It was always going to be very difficult to replace a player like Luis,” Rodgers told The Beautiful Game podcast.

“It ended up, with Luis going, Fabio going and Daniel being the only one, it left us in a really vulnerable position

“It was pretty clear to see that, strikers I’ve always worked with, Mario Balotelli didn’t fit my style. But one thing I will say about Mario is that he has all the talent.

“He should be one of the top three strikers in world football. He has everything. It’s the difference between talent and working talent. It was just unfortunate he’d come in when Luis had left and in his first game he did very well.

“We won 3-0 at White Hart Lane and he was very good. Mario played with Daniel in a diamond and it worked so well, but after that game Daniel got injured.

“We went through a period when we were pressing the game, weren’t intense enough and I thought we had to change something because we’d lost that ingredient. That’s when I played Raheem (Sterling) there and we went to 3-4-3.”

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What RTK has to say

Rodgers’ problems in attack feel like a lifetime ago with Liverpool’s current pedigreed front-three Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino currently in their fourth season together since it’s origin in 2017.

Liverpool’s transfer model has changed significantly over the years with sporting director Michael Edwards now the club’s spearhead when it comes to making blockbuster purchases in the market.

The Reds’ judgement when it comes to splashing out eye-watering fees has improved exponentially when you consider the success of Liverpool’s most expensive purchases in the form of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.

Indeed, Rodgers is correct to state that Balotelli was ‘unfortunate’ in the fact he was expected to fill an impossible void left by Suarez, yet there is no hiding from the fact that the former Italy international will go down as one of the club’s most disappointing purchases of all time.

The fact he is respectfully being linked with a move to the Championship just four years after leaving the current Premier League champions tells you all you need to know in the dramatic decline of Balotelli.

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