Newcastle are plotting a surprise move for former Liverpool and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, according to a club chief.
Balotelli moved to the Premier League in August 2010 when City paid Inter Milan £22.5million for his services. The Italian went on to net 30 goals in 80 games for the Citizens, while also winning the Premier League and FA Cup.
Balotelli’s wild personality saw him become an enigma in the English top flight. In October 2011, the forward made headlines by setting off fireworks in his own home. Just days later, he bagged two goals in the 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United, while pulling off the ‘why always me?’ celebration.
Balotelli left City to join AC Milan in January 2013 after falling out with his team-mates. He would return to the Premier League with Liverpool the following year, but a troublesome spell at Anfield followed.
The Palermo-born player has gone on to feature in France, Italy and now Turkey, where he represents Adana Demirspor. Balotelli has been in good form for the Super Lig outfit this term, hitting seven goals and two assists in 18 matches. And those displays could see him earn a shock return to England.
Eddie Howe’s Newcastle are hoping to bolster their attacking options this month by capturing Balotelli, according to Inside Futbol (via Daily Star). The ace should not cost too much as transfermarkt put his value at just £1.98m.
Newcastle plot surprise move for former Liverpool striker
Newcastle are considering a surprise move for former Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli, according to a club chief
Balotelli’s club president, Murat Sancak, recently revealed the Magpies’ interest. He also spoke about an attached release clause which may help the transfer.
“Newcastle was considering signing Balotelli, but so far they have not made an official offer,” Sancak said.
Mario Balotelli has exit clause
“There is an exit clause in his contract. But I cannot reveal the amount of that clause.”
Balotelli joining Newcastle would be a surprising transfer, to say the least. He has a habit of causing problems in the dressing room, which is not exactly what Howe needs while the battle against relegation rumbles on.
The Tyneside club need reinforcements following Callum Wilson’s injury. They have already added Chris Wood to their ranks, but another striker is set to be brought in. However, they could find a more composed figure in Duvan Zapata, rather than Balotelli.
Newcastle in for Leverkusen star
Meanwhile, Newcastle have reportedly begun transfer talks over the signing of Bayer Leverkusen’s Mitchel Bakker.
A Netherlands under-21 international who plays at left-back, he joined Bayer Leverkusen from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.
To date, he has started 12 games in all competitions for the club, contributing one goal and three assists.
Although he signed a contract until 2025 when moving to Germany, he is already being lined up for his next move.
According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle are discussing a deal for Bakker that could give Leverkusen a quick profit on their £8.5m investment.
Currently at left-back, Newcastle have Jamal Lewis, Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie. The latter duo are both in their 30s now, whereas the 21-year-old Bakker could be a useful long-term investment.