17 Aug 2015

Transfer Update: Liverpool desperate to secure transfer for £50m 'maverick' who contacted Cassano at Sampdoria

In June, TuttoSport claimed that Sampdoria President Massimo Ferrero flew to London to hold transfer talks with Liverpool over the possible loan deal for Mario Balotelli, and with the transfer window closing soon, Sampdoria star Antonio Cassano has delivered a public plea to the maligned Italian to quit Anfield and return to Serie A.

According to Italian newspaper Gazetta Dello Sport today:

* Cassano and Balotelli - charitably described by Steve Bruce as a 'maverick - have been in contact via text message to discuss a transfer to Sampdoria.

* One of Cassano's text messages allegedly reads: "Come to Samp and you won’t regret it, we’ll do great things together".

* Gazetta further claims that Liverpool are so desperate to get Balotelli off the books that they're willing to pay 75% of his €6m-a-year salary as part of a loan deal.

Sampdoria's interest in Balotelli is no secret; back in April, Ferrero confirmed: that he wanted to bring the striker back to Italy:

"He [Balotelli] has lost his hunger. He’s earning too much. If he was only on bread and water, he’d be a champion again.”

'Bread and water'? Good luck with that!

In any event, according to Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, the striker is going nowhere. He recently confirmed:

"We have talks with Liverpool and he will stay. I spoke many times with the club and they were happy with his input as a professional"

That's all well and good, but the idea of being the biggest fish in a (comparatively) small pond may appeal to Balotelli, who - according to his clearly deluded agent, is worth '€60m-€70m' [£42-£50m].

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is certainly in no mood to give Balotelli a chance. As confirmed last week by Jose Enrique, Balotelli is currently being forced to train alone, and when asked about the striker on Friday, Rodgers barked:

“He [Balotelli] clearly knows his situation, so I'm not going to speak about Mario when I can speak about another 25 players. There's nothing to add. All of the players understand where they're at".

Balotelli's 'situation' is that he's not part of Rodgers' plans for the upcoming season, so the best thing for him to do is leave. That probably won't happen, though, for one simple reason: money. According to The Guardian:

"Mario Balotelli is due a six-figure loyalty bonus from Liverpool should he remain at the club once the summer transfer window has closed"

In my view, this is more rank incompetence from Liverpool.

* Why on earth is a player worth a six-figure 'loyalty bonus' after just one season at the club?!

* What happened to actually *earning* a loyalty bonus over a number of years?

It's utterly ridiculous, and whoever agreed that term should be immediately terminated for gross negligence.

I don't blame Balotelli for staying to get his bonus; most - if not all - people in the same position would do the same, and anyone who says otherwise is simply deluding themselves.

Liverpool created the situation with their farcical approach to transfers and contracts. Balotelli merely pushed for the term and/or agreed to it when offered.

It's simple: no loyalty bonus after one year = no player holding out for the cash, and if there's a loyalty bonus due at the end of the subsequent years, too, then Balotelli isn't leaving any time soon.

Ultimately, the club has basically sabotaged itself as it's now very difficult to get rid of Balotelli.


Author: Jaimie K


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