The Italian forward has flown to France to negotiate a potential transfer away from Merseyside, exactly two years after signing for the Reds in a £16 million “gamble”
Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has travelled to Nice to discuss a move to the Ligue 1 outfit as his calamitous spell with the Anfield club nears its end, Goal can reveal.
No agreement has been struck between the sides yet, with the 26-year-old set to hold talks with Lucien Favre to determine whether a switch to the south east coast of France can act as the catalyst to reignite his career.
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The Swiss boss has made it clear Nice will only recruit players committed to furthering their ambitions, and when prompted about Balotelli 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.”
The Reds are hopeful negotiations will prove positive and the Italian can be shifted after being signed exactly two years ago for £16 million.
The move was described as a “gamble” by former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, and has been more risk than reward.
Balotelli is out of contract in 2017 and an exit this summer – even on loan terms – would signal the end of his association with the Merseysiders.
The forward has made only 14 starts in total for the club, netting four times, and spent 2015-16 at Milan on a temporary deal.
FC Sion have also admitted interest in Balotelli with their chairman Christian Constantin saying: “I can confirm we’re discussing about a possible loan, we’re progressing, but I can’t say yet if the transfer will be successful or not.”
Meanwhile, Stoke are hoping to conclude a season-long loan for Mamadou Sakho.
The French defender needs to build up his fitness as he shakes off Achilles tendinopathy, and Liverpool feel he would have a greater chance of securing games elsewhere as he works on his match sharpness.