Mario Balotelli’s 11-month Liverpool career looks over after boss Brendan Rodgers omitted the Italian troublemaker from both the Reds’ squads for friendly fixtures away to HJK Helsinki and Swindon.
The fact that Balotelli was left out of a strong group travelling to Finland was no surprise, but the trip to the County Ground, where new forwards Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke could feature for the first time since signing this summer, was thought to be a chance for the 24-year-old to stake a claim.
It seems that won’t be happening, and rumours are circulating that the 33-cap Azzurri man will skip back to Serie A before the transfer window closes in early September.
However, there could be value in bwin.com’s market on where Balotelli will be playing after 04/09/2015, with Liverpool’s perceived difficulties in getting rid of a player who cost £16m last summer, and reportedly pulls in around a quarter that amount in wages per annum, making them 1/2 favourites.
Lazio are next in the betting at 3/1, with Sampdoria 6/1, Fiorentina 9/1 and Bologna 12s.
The former seem to be making all the running in the race for Balotelli’s signature, with reports from Italy suggesting the Biancocelesti have been in touch with the player’s agent Mina Raoila over a possible move.
Lazio only want Balotelli on loan though, according to newspaper La Repubblica, while Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero reportedly baulked at the mooted £7m fee Liverpool would like to recoup.
Bologna director of sport Pantaleo Corvino has stated that he would be interested in taking the former Milan and Inter hitman to the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara ‘for the right price’, but Balotelli seems unlikely to sign for a team who were promoted to the Italian top flight last term.
With that in mind, and with loans not counted in bwin’s market, the best course of betting action looks to be backing Balotelli to still be on Liverpool’s books by mid-September, if not actually playing at Anfield.