Ballotelli Remains a Hot Commodity for Serie A Clubs

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers naming 18-year old Jerome Sinclair to the Reds squad that drew with Premier League champions Chelsea ahead of Mario Balotelli yesterday was as clear a signal as any that the Italian’s days on Merseyside are numbered.

Despite the overwhelmingly poor season he’s had, the 24-year old remains a hot commodity in his homeland with a number of Serie A sides publicly courting him — most notably, Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero. “He’s a great name and certainly he’d be welcomed by many clubs,” said the chatterbox chairman, continuing a charm offensive that’s been running for some time now. “If it were up to me, I would bring him to Sampdoria immediately. It would be fantastic to have him together with Eto’o.”

That, of course stands in sharp contrast to Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers pre-match comments about the striker. No, no [he’s not injured]. Just not selected,” he said when queired about the Italian’s conspicuous absence from the match-day squad. We’ve got some young strikers coming through like Sinclair doing fantastic in our youth and reserve teams. Mario’s just not in the squad.”

We’ve heard that phrase with increasing regularity this season with the Reds manager hinting on more than one occasion that it wasn’t his decision to bring the enigmatic hit-man to Merseyside in the first place. Regardless of how he arrived back in England, the reality of the matter is that he could be shipped out as soon as the transfer window opens with his old club Inter Milan one of many possible destinations for him. “In football anything can happen. If Mancini asks us then certainly it could happen,” vice-president Javier Zanetti, backing the embattled striker. “I’m convinced that if he had stayed at Inter he would have matured further.”

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