LIVERPOOL (Sporting Alert) — Mario Balotelli is expected to be dumped by Liverpool in the summer, but the Italian future club remains a mystery.
Balotelli joined Liverpool last summer on a £16 million dollar transfer fee from AC Milan as a possible replacement for Luis Suarez, but the move hasn’t really worked out.
The controversial Italian striker has been linked with a move back to his former clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan, but both clubs are reluctant to take on his troubles once again.
Sky Bet has Filippo Inzaghi’s side at 20/1 to sign the frontman this summer, while the Nerazzurri are at 10/1 to bring him back to the club.
There have been a few calls to give Balotelli another chance at Anfield, but it is understood that manager Brendan Rodgers and his staff have no intentions of keeping the forward, who has scored just once from 56 shots and has no assists in his English Premier League fixtures so far this season.
Fiorentina are the latest club to be linked with the former Manchester City player, as he is seen as a possible replacement for the injury-plagued Mario Gómez, who reportedly wants to leave the Serie A club in the summer transfer window.
A move to Fiorentina though, remains questionable, following his history with club fans, who are apparently not a big fan of the 24-year-old, who was racially abused and insulted by Viola supporters two-years-ago.
Serie A champions Juventus, at 25/1, are also said to be monitoring Balotelli’s situation at Liverpool, but they too are very far away from picking up the Reds striker.
This leaves Roma, at 5/1, as the early front-runners to land his signature in the summer.
It is still unclear as to whether the Italian giants will make a move for Balotelli though, following comments by Italy legend Francesco Totti, who in November labeled his fellow countryman as stubborn and a person that doesn’t like to take advice from anyone.
“I wouldn’t give advice to Balotelli,” Totti recalled. “Everyone tries to, but he doesn’t listen to anyone.”
Since joining Liverpool last summer, Balotelli has scored just four goals in 28 appearances and has not been a factor in the 16 English Premier League fixtures he’s played in.
Another forward also struggling to adapt to life at Anfield is fellow 2014 summer recruit Rickie Lambert.
Lambert, who moved to Liverpool from Southampton on a £4 million transfer fee, has tallied 710 minutes in the league this season, but has just two goals to his name.
But Rodgers is expected to keep the 33-year-old striker as he has no immediate desires to leave again.