Don’t worry, Mario, FC Crotone is here to help. Also, don’t worry if you don’t know who or what FC Crotone is—they just got promoted to Serie A for the first time in their 106-year history. In any case, they’re a football club. From Italy’s south. They have a club crest with sharks on it.
Also, they’d be more than happy to take Mario Balotelli on loan for the coming season, helping to—in their words—rehabilitate his career. With just one year left on his Liverpool contract, it wouldn’t be more than that. It'd also essentially mean Liverpool would be paying Balotelli to wind down his contract.
"How did the idea of wanting Balotelli come about?" club president Raddaele Vrenna asked himself today. "It is because we have revived many players who then went back to the highest levels. At the Euros there are now six players who used to play for Crotone. We could be a sort of clinic and help him."
And, of course, he would help the Serie A debutants to perhaps survive in Italy’s top flight now they’ve made it while Liverpool paid the bulk of his salary. There might even be some appeal to that for the player. Join a club that would adore his presence, score some goals, and leave on a free next summer.
A big move to a big club on big money might be the goal, but that’s not coming for Balotelli this year, so if it’s a choice between giving up on his career and heading to China for a payday or spending a year as cult saviour to a newly promoted side while possibly rebuilding said career. Well. Stranger things and all that.
It’s difficult, though, to even dream up a scenario where it makes sense for Liverpool. Crotone aren’t going to be able to afford to pay much of a transfer or loan fee. They won’t be able to pay much of Balotelli’s £90k per week wages. And if he does well, his contract is up next summer and he leaves for nothing.
Still, if it ever does come to the point where there are literally no other takers and not even any interest in China and Liverpool have grown exceedingly desperate, FC Crotone would like Mario to know that they’re there. And they would like to help.