Barnsley hold a surprise interest in signing former Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli according to The Sun.
Oakwell co-chairmen Chien Lee and Paul Conway and Balotelli’s agent have been in contact over a potential move to Yorkshire, although no agreement has been reached as of yet.
The Italian striker is currently a free-agent having left Italian side Brescia at the end of the 2019/20 season, and will be looking to find a new club at the earliest of opportunities.
Balotelli scored 30 goals in his time with Manchester City, in a three-year spell with the Premier League side, and he played his part as they clinched the Premier League title in the 2011/12 campaign.
It’s safe to say that not many would have predicted that a potential move to Championship side Barnsley could be on the cards though.
The Tykes are currently sat 16th in the second-tier standings after their opening 11 matches of the 2020/21 season, and they’ll be looking to build on some impressive showings under the management of Valérien Ismaël this term.
BBC Sheffield’s Andy Giddings confirmed that there is interest from Barnsley in Balotelli, although it is believed that no contract offer has been made to the forward at this stage.
Understand there is some truth to reports that #barnsleyfc enquired as to the poss of signing free agent Mario Balotelli, but lead to believe that’s as far as it went. The Reds spoke to the Italian’s agent Mino Raiola re the player. Strange but in this case true.
— Andy Giddings (@Gids1980) November 17, 2020
Balotelli has been training with Serie D side Franciacorta in a bid to build up his fitness levels, and The Sun have also claimed that his interest levels of playing in the Championship have cooled recently.
Barnsley are set to return to action this weekend, when they take on Nottingham Forest, in what is likely to be a tricky test at Oakwell.
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Where an earth has this come from?
Balotelli’s career has certainly gone downhill since he left Manchester City, and baring in mind he hasn’t found a club two months into the new season, it speaks volumes.
I don’t think many would have predicted that he’d be willing to drop down into the Championship though, and if he could recapture his best form, then this would be a ridiculous signing for Barnsley.
I find it hard to believe they’ll be able to afford his hefty wage demands though, so I can’t see a deal being very close despite their rumoured interest in his services.