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Sampdoria Sound Out Balotelli for the Second Year in a Row

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This isn’t going to be an annual tradition, is it?

Liverpool Training and Press Conference Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

No it isn’t a deja vu. No it isn’t a deja vu. For the second summer running, Sampdoria president Massimo Ferroro once again has come sniffing around Mario Balotelli in an effort to nudge the recently-returned loanee back on a plane to the Italian coast.

Ferroro attempted to turn on the charm, calling the mercurial striker a "great talent" with a chance to "relaunch his career" at the Serie A minnows, according to Il Corriere dello Sport. However, the Sampdoria don was quick to temper his sweet talk with a lobbed insult or two, lecturing the Italian—through the reporter he was presumably speaking to—with the wholly original argument that "Balotelli is Balotelli’s worst enemy," in the way that "(Antonio) Cassano is Cassano’s worst enemy." Overall, excellent recruiting tactics, one must say

Perhaps Ferroro was encouraged to throw his hat in the ring by the poisonous locker room environment Balotelli has fomented on his return, what with all the awful haircuts that have mysteriously started cropping up around Melwood with increasing frequency. Yet as a club with well-documented financial struggles, this all seems a bit of a stretch, even for those in favor of off-loading the troubled star.

It has been rumored that Klopp’s staff have been trying to do just that, however even clubs like Beskitas and their fellow bargain basement shoppers of the Turkish League are turning up their noses at the prospect, and as things stand it’s tough to see how the club might recoup even a fraction of their £16-million investment.

Balotelli himself recently acknowledged his well-documented struggles at Anfield both on and off the pitch, but has expressed excitement about the new Klopp regime and has made positive noises about turning over a seventh or eighth new leaf in a quest for a Ballon d’Or. Naturally.

Either way, with Sturridge, Origi, and Ings as well as Firmino and Mane presumably ahead of him in the striking pecking order, a move abroad might be his best chance at mounting a challenge to the Messi-Ronaldo industrial complex for the coveted gong. And if Sampdoria is the only place that will have him, Ferrero might do best to stump up a bit more to pay the fee rather than simply talking a big game.