Reports in Italy are linking Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli with a loan move to Olympiacos.
Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is being linked with a move away from the club this month, with Greek side Olympiacos interested. The striker has yet to score a Premier League goal and even manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted his style is not a great fit with his own philosophy. Italian website TMW report Greek champions Olympiacos are keen to sign Balotelli on loan, and are preparing an offer. The deal would include €2.5 million up front to help tempt Liverpool to sanction the move.
The Italian international only joined the English side from AC Milan in the summer, but has struggled to make an impact since a €20m move from Milan. Reports claim that the Greek champions are considering a move for the striker, with a six-month loan deal being mooted. It is believed that Liverpool would not be willing to sell Balotelli, but may accept a loan deal where Olympiacos would pay the €2.5m which the striker would be owed between now and June. From Liverpool’s end, it could depend on their success in rumored attempts to bring in Divock Origi and end his season long loan at Lille early.
Olympiacos have recently appointed Vítor Pereira as their coach following the dismissal of Míchel on Tuesday. Though they won their last five games, below-par performances in recent league matches, particularly in the 2-1 victory against Platanias FC on Sunday, were reportedly behind the club’s decision to part ways with former Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, Getafe CF and Sevilla FC boss Míchel. Pereira is expected to sign a two-and-a-half-year deal with Olympiacos, who are second in the Greek Super League, one point behind PAOK FC. The 46-year-old Portuguese started his coaching career in the youth ranks of Padroense and FC Porto, before taking the top job at AD Sanjoanense and then SC Espinho. In 2008, he guided second-tier CD Santa Clara to within a whisker of promotion to the top flight and returned to Porto in 2010 as assistant to André Villas-Boas. When Villas-Boas left for Chelsea FC a year later, Pereira filled the void and subsequently won two Portuguese titles and two Portuguese Supercups. He left Porto in summer 2013 and has since been at the helm at Al-Ahli in Saudi Arabia.
Olympiacos will play FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the UEFA Europa League round of 32, with the first leg in Ukraine on 19th February.