Unwanted Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is highly unlikely to still be at Anfield in September as the club prays that someone, somewhere will take him off their hands.
He has no shortage of suitors, but his wages appear to be a sticking point for many clubs.
Sampdoria, for example, have made no secret of their desire to take him back to Serie A, but have been quite open about the fact that they cannot afford him unless he was willing to take a significant pay cut.
The likes of Pescara and Crotone, meanwhile, have made similar claims in the recent past. Inter have also been linked with bringing him back to the San Siro, but Roberto Mancini seems to view him as a last resort if he can’t get other targets.
Earlier this week, Besiktas president Fikret Orman confirmed his club’s interest in bringing the former Italian international to Turkey, claiming that both player and club were interested in making the move happen.
However, this does not appear to be the case, as Balotelli has apparently turned down the opportunity to move to the Super Lig as he wants to play in either Italy, Spain or England.
Italian reporter Gianluca Di Marzio has today provided an update on the 25-year-old’s future, alleging that while one club definitely won’t be signing him, another has made their interest known.
The report states that Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raoila, directly contacted Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis to offer his client’s services. Naploi are on the lookout for a new striker having sold Gonzalo Higuaín to Juventus earlier this week, but made it quite clear to Raiola that Balotelli was of no interest to them.
One club who may be interested, however, are Dutch side Ajax. That said, any follow-up interest is likely to depend on their progression to the Champions League group stage, which is by no means guaranteed at this stage. They drew 1-1 with Greek outfit PAOK in Amsterdam this week, leaving their chances of qualification to the next round on a knife-edge currently. Even if they do prevail in Greece next week, they would still have another playoff to navigate.
To that end, Liverpool could be waiting until the end of August to hear back from Ajax. Whether they are prepared to wait that long remains to be seen, but they are steadfast in their position that he will be definitely be going somewere in the next few weeks.