Former Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli almost made a return to Italy but Palermo were put off by the high price wanted by the Reds for the Italian striker. Balotelli is now playing for Nice in Ligue 1 but Palermo president did state that he wanted to sign the mercurial striker.
Speaking before the transfer deadline, Palermo’s Vice-President Guglielmo Micciche stated:
“We made an offer [for Balotelli]. now it’s up to Liverpool and the player.”
The vice president also stated why Balotelli could have been a hit at Palermo,
“He has high wages and a pool of sponsors, so it’s not an easy situation for us, but Palermo could be the right place for him. He was born in Palermo and we consider him a Sicilian.”
The Italian striker did not really have a future at Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp had stated that the best thing for Balo would be to search for a new club. Italy seemed to be his preferred destination but his transfer value was a stumbling block for many clubs vying for the signature of the striker.
Maurizio Zamparini, Palermo president, also shared his views on the deal that almost happened. He was quoted by Rai Sport as saying,
“Did I want Balotelli? Yes. The cost for Palermo was too high, I can’t allow that type of thing anymore. He is a golden boy. I am pro-Balotelli!”
Twice is Nice for Balotelli
The Italian finally signed for Nice at the start of the season and has been on fire for the club since joining. He did state that joining Liverpool was the worst mistake of his life and even had a go at Jurgen Klopp and Brendan Rodgers.
While Rodgers signed Balotelli as a panic buy a couple of years ago, Klopp had been straightforward in saying that the former AC Milan star did not have a future at Merseyside. Balotelli, nevertheless, has had a great start to his career in Nice. The Italian scored twice on his debut as he led his side to a victory over Marseille.
With four goals in just two league games for the club, the 26-year-old has managed to match his goal scoring record during his first season at Liverpool. Even last year, while on loan at AC Milan, the striker only managed three goals all season.
It will be interesting to see just how the Italian does in his new home. Nice aren’t the biggest club in the French league and there would be fewer cameras on the Golden Boy Award winner from 2010. So far he has done a pretty good job of not saying too much, apart from his outburst against Klopp and Rodgers.