With a week left in the transfer window, Mario Balotelli transfer rumours are beginning to write themselves. The alienated Italian's name routinely pops up in connection with Serie A clubs proffering magnanimous loan deals because they can't afford — or are too cheap to pony up for — the striker's services on a permanent basis.
Today's twist to the usual story is a bit of an unexpected one. Instead of the president of Sampdoria or a third tier Italian club expressing their undying wish for Balotelli to pull on their team colours, it's AC Milan putting their hat in the ring for Balotelli's skills. Yes, the AC Milan that Balotelli left just last summer to join Liverpool, the one he left in part because the racial abuse he received from both home and away fans had become unbearable.
The news comes courtesy of Gianluca Di Marzio, who claims current AC Milan boss Siniša Mihajlović met with Balotelli in Florence to discuss the possibility of the striker moving back to his home country. Mihajlović was an assistant under the stewardship of Roberto Mancini at Inter Milan for a year while Balotelli was there, and thus would have at least some personal familiarity with the player beyond what he reads in the press.
Like with other possible deals to loan Liverpool players to Serie A clubs, it's thought that AC Milan might ask Liverpool to pay a portion of Balotelli's wages for the privilege of taking an unwanted player off their hands for the season. Paying another club to make Balotelli their problem doesn't seem like the most fiscally rational choice, but if there's any truth to the rumour, it points to just how done with Balotelli Brendan Rodgers is.