Liverpool: Striker Turkey-bound; fee agreed for defender; Real Madrid midfielder linked
Two years after the arriving at Anfield, Mario Balotelli looks set to depart from the Reds this summer. The forward had what was a very poor debut season, which saw him move back on loan to his former club AC Milan for the campaign just gone. Information disclosed by his agent, via the Guardian, makes reference to interest and an almost-complete deal from the Turkish club, Besiktas.
Balotelli’s move to Liverpool shortly followed the £75 million departure of Uruguayan centre-forward Luis Suarez. Many fans expected the Italian to return to his usual Premier League form, having seen him contribute with several impressive performances for Manchester City prior to his Anfield arrival. However, contrary to expectations, Mario only managed to bag one league goal in his first season for the Reds, with three more coming in other competitions.
A loan deal back to Milan therefore seemed like a sensible option for the forward, allowing him to recuperate and return for a successful 2016/17 campaign. However, the striker’s goal tally for AC last season was less than impressive, as he only managed to score one for the club this past season.
New Reds boss Jürgen Klopp has a reputation for drastically improving the performance of his players, but even he may struggle when it comes to Balotelli. Due to this, many Liverpool fans would find it difficult to miss the Italian international’s presence at Anfield, should he decide to leave for Turkey.
Meanwhile Italian news outlet, Gazzetta dello Sport (via talkSPORT), have given information declaring Real Madrid’s lack of interest in sending Croation international, Mateo Kovacic, out on loan to the Reds, but have made it known that he would be available for purchase, with an asking price of around £24 million.
The Merseyside club have been following the progress of the midfielder for a while now, with the player also wanting a move to gain more first team experience, having only made eight league starts for his current club’s first team since his arrival at the Bernabeu.
Despite his lack of appearances last season, the 22-year-old would pose competition to the current Liverpool midfield options and could challenge for a place in the first time, given enough time and attention. Thanks to his age, he would be a signing for the future as well as the present, making him an even more beneficial addition to Klopp’s current setup.
A player who is extremely assured in possession, should he move to Merseyside, he would offer stiff competition for the likes of Joe Allen and Lucas Levia in the centre of the park. Under the stewardship of the German head coach, there is little doubt that Kovacic could become a key player for the Reds.
Finally, Martin Skrtel’s move to Turkey has progressed, with Sky Sports reporting that Fenerbahce have agreed a £5 million deal for the Slovakian international. Yesterday, the clubs were supposedly in talks, but now a decision on the price tag for his services has been reached.
For the majority of Reds fans, it will be a great shame to see the centre-back depart from Liverpool after so many years of service for the club.
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