It may have started like standard rumour mill breeze, but a Liverpool bid for Mario Balotelli seems less and less fanciful with every passing hour.
The Telegraph have quoted the Italian as telling journalists ‘this is my last day in Milan’ earlier today, with Anfield expected to be his destination in a £16m move.
At bwin HQ the layers are going as short as 3/100 about him being available to Brendan Rodgers by the close of the transfer window.
However there are reasons to believe completing the deal is unwise for his potential purchasers and here they be.
The move smacks of desperation.
During Liverpool’s tour of the United States of America earlier this summer, Rodgers said:
“I was asked the question about Balotelli last week and spoke about what a talent he is and excellent player he is.”
“But I can categorically tell you that he will not be coming to Liverpool.”
Entering the final nine days of the window it seems the failure to bring in another centre-forward has caused earlier misgivings to brushed under the carpet.
In the last five seasons the Italian has played more than 30 league games just once.
More worryingly, three of those campaigns saw him fail to post as many as 20 showings in bread and butter-based activities.
Ill discipline has played a significant part, with Balotelli one yellow card short of a booking every two league starts during that period.
Incorporating eight new faces into a squad is hard enough without ‘why always me?’.
The Liverpool boss already has a tricky enough job forging cohesion and understanding amidst a much-altered roster without the caprices of the self-obsessed Mario.
He has thrived at AC Milan and Manchester City when played as a central striker.
As well as potentially impacting upon the harmony within the dressing room Balotelli would find himself in direct competition with Daniel Sturridge.
Pressure to incorporate the one-time Citizen into the side would harsh the England man’s buzz and for what? An inconsistent and often unavailable alternative.