AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi confirmed that Italy striker Mario Balotelli would return to Liverpool after failing to make an impact with the Rossoneri.
The 25-year-old has been largely unimpressive during his stay at the San Siro, playing second fiddle to Colombian striker Carlos Bacca for most of the season.
While Balotelli was on loan at AC Milan from Liverpool, the Rossoneri had an option to make the deal permanent. However, Milan chose not to use their option, which means the striker has to go back to the Merseyside club.
Apart from Balotelli, Berlusconi also confirmed that centre-backs Alex and Philippe Mexes and midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng are also on their way out of the club.
“Balotelli’s contract with us has expired and there are going to be many players leaving us,” Berlusconi said in an interview with Tele Lombardia [via Pianeta Milan]. “Players like Alex, Mexes, Boateng and Balotelli are all out of contract and there will be others released too.”
AC Milan are on the brink of a change as Berlusconi, who has been running the show at the club for the last 30 years, is set to oversee a takeover bid in which a group of Chinese investors will assume ownership of the club. However, the former Italy Prime Minister stated that the Chinese investors still wanted him to remain in charge of the transfer dealings at the club.
“Even if the Chinese [investors] arrive, they still want me to be responsible for the transfer market,” said Berlusconi. “There’s this American study [group] in contact with Chinese investors who appear to be serious. One of their conditions is that I stay on [as president] for three years. I’m confident. I hope that my impression can also become a decision.”
Gloomy future for Balotelli
While Mario Balotelli has been one of the best strikers to have come out of Italy in the last 10 years, the former Inter Milan man has become an unwanted commodity in the last couple of years.
Balotelli has shown indifferent form this season at Milan, managing to score only three goals from 23 appearances in the entire season. The 25-year-old has another couple of years left on his current contract with Liverpool, who already have four out-and-out strikers — Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Christian Benteke — vying for manager Jurgen Klopp’s favour.
Thus, it seems unlikely that the Reds would use Balotelli much in the coming two years. Another loan move could be an option for the striker who was valued at €20 million just three years back.