Having spent a disappointing season on Merseyside and a disappointing season back on loan with AC Milan, nobody really believes that Mario Balotelli has a Liverpool future. Yet nobody quite knows where he might reasonably end up next season if, as seems to be the case, none of the big Italian clubs want him.
For many Liverpool fans, and perhaps even the club, the hope seemed to be that rumours of Chinese interest in the player might amount to a firm offer. So far, it hasn’t. Balotelli’s agent, though, might just have secured some good news for everyone. He might just have a potential landing place lined up for the 25-year-old striker.
"I offered Mario to Besiktas and am waiting for an answer," agent Mino Raiola said when he spoke about his client’s future today with the Turkish press. "But I’m quite sure the transfer will happen, as their President has previously assured me he would do anything to get him. I see a 100% chance the deal will go through."
If a Besiktas deal does go through, it’s difficult to imagine Liverpool will make back all of the £16M fee paid for the player. His wages, believed to stand at between £90-100k per week, could also be a stumbling block, as Liverpool had to subsidise his wages last season at Milan and Balotelli may not want to take a pay cut.
If he’s eager to salvage his career, though, he may have to, after struggling at his last two clubs and falling out of favour with the national team. Still, one imagines Raiola wouldn’t be sounding quite so bullish if there wasn’t at least some willingness on Balotelli’s side of things to take lower wages in exchange for a real chance.
Balotelli scored four goals in 28 total appearances in 2014-15 with Liverpool after arriving as something of a replacement for Luis Suarez the previous summer. This past season on loan with AC Milan he scored three goals in 23 total appearances while struggling with a series of injury issues.