Newcastle United are considering a sensational swoop for former Liverpool man Mario Balotelli, according to a report.
It has been claimed that Magpies boss Rafael Benitez is looking at the possibility of bringing the Italy striker to St. James’ Park this month as he seeks reinforcements in the forward department.
Arsenal were linked with a move for Balotelli in May, with Gazzetta dello Sport claiming that the Gunners could make a bid with Borussia Dortmund and Marseille also thought to be interested.
Marseille reportedly remain interested in the 27-year-old, while a return to Serie A has also been touted as a distinct possibility.
The Mirror claim that Newcastle hold a genuine interest in the former Milan and Inter star, while Nice will not stand in Balotelli’s way if he wishes to move on in January, as manager Patrick Vieira confirmed.
“I have given Mario a few extra days off to think about his future and what he wants to do,” Vieira said.
“He’s under contract here and everything is possible, if we can come to a common agreement who knows.
“When it comes to Mario, I want to answer back, or just slam him up against the wall or leave him hanging by his collar on the coat rack, but I can’t, as I’m no longer a player.
“I don’t want to say something I’ll regret. I am trying to be constructive in my comments to him.”
Balotelli did say back in 2016 in an interview with Xinhua that he would have no problem returning to England: “[If I go back to England] it would not be to Liverpool.
“Because I found myself [performing] very bad in Liverpool. I said the team was good and the fans are amazing, but I would never go back to Liverpool.
“The first one I think in England is Manchester City, and the second team I always like is Arsenal. That doesn’t mean I’ll go to play there. I just like them.”
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