So far this summer, there have been plenty of rumours linking Mario Balotelli with a move away. For the most part, though, they’ve amounted to one mid-table Serie A side or another being interested or considering him or maybe just talking about how poor they are and how it’d be nice if Liverpool paid for them to take Balotelli off their hands.
That last part hasn’t changed entirely, but Sky Italy reporter Gianluca di Marzio believe Sampdoria have now launched an official enquiry and are talking to the striker’s agent, Mino Raiola. Rather than talking about a deal or of considering one, they are rumoured to actually be trying to make it happen, and it is further suggested that they have made Balotelli’s capture a priority.
However, what hasn’t chanced is that they arrive at Liverpool hat in hands and hoping for a handout. Alongside the reports of their supposedly very serious interest are, as there always have been when it comes to Sampdoria or Bologna or Lazio, suggestions that a deal will only be possible if Liverpool give them a deep discount on the price and also pay some of Balotelli’s wages.
It’s a tiresome point for Liverpool—both fans and club—to keep coming back to, but the financial strength of the Premier League and the current weakness of the Euro make it unavoidable. The teams on the content able to compete financially with those in England could be counted on one hand, and even mid-table Premier League sides can now attract marquee talent.
The downside to that is that it becomes very difficult for English clubs to move on talent that doesn’t work out. And Liverpool should always have known Balotelli had a very, very small chance of working out for the club, as even beyond all the usual questions of his attitude and effort there were massive doubts about his stylistic fit for the side.
That made him a gamble. Liverpool always knew that—or should have—and also that if he didn’t work out they would have to take a significant loss on the transfer fee and quite possibly pay Balotelli off by subsidizing his wages. They knew that and went ahead with a deal last summer anyhow. Now they will have to pay the price.
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