Ajax are reportedly edging closer to a deal to sign Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli, as the Amsterdam club near Champions League qualification.
The Dutch outfit entered preliminary talks with Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola last week according to reports in the Mail, and now the deal is progressing.
The Italian would be a replacement for Arkadiusz Milik, who joined Napoli in a deal worth almost £30 million on Tuesday.
Ajax allegedly have a strict wage policy in which none of their players are payed over £40,000 per week, and although ‘Super Mario’ is on £110k at Anfield (according to Metro), the 25-year-old is open to the move.
The Dutch side progressed to the Champions League play-off round after defeating PAOK in the second leg on Wednesday night, clinching a 3-2 aggregate victory.
Peter Bosz – replacement of Frank de Boer – has highlighted Balotelli as a replacement for Milik, and qualification for the group stages of the Champions League could be enough to tempt him to join.
Balotelli is training at Melwood currently, with the former Italy international not in the plans of Jurgen Klopp for next season.
Besiktas were also rumoured to be interested in the former Milan and Inter man, but manager Gunes distanced himself from the player.
“Balotelli isn’t in my plans. I don’t have a favourable view of Mario Balotelli. I have never expressed a positive insight on him.”
The Palermo native had a spell on loan at boyhood club AC Milan last season, but the Rossoneri chose not to pursue a permanent signing.
The 6ft3 striker alerted everyone with his claims last month that he could still win the Ballon d’Or.
“In my view there weren’t enough [expectations put on me], as I can do so much more than what I said. But it takes time.
“On the scale of 0 to 10, I stopped at five, but I’ll get to 10 eventually. I want to get there. I will win the Ballon d’Or.”