Lupa Castelli – who play in the third tier of Italian football – are reportedly prepared to offer Mario Balotelli the chance to resurrect his career on home soil next season, following a disastrous twelve months at Liverpool.
The club, which was only founded two years ago, were winners of the Italian fourth division last season and are now aiming to continue their rise upwards by signing the out of favour 24-year-old.
Of course, they have absolutely no chance of pulling off such a deal. Balotelli is likely to earn more in a week than their entire squad earns in a year, but it’s hard not to admire their daring efforts.
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Lupa Castelli’s honorary president, Marco Amelia, is quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying: “Our intention is to bring our friend, Balotelli, here, a player who at this time needs to start afresh because we see that he does not want to play anymore, has fans opposing him and is no longer able to show his quality.
“For Balotelli, this could be the first step towards cleaning up his act, taking two steps back and showing everyone what he is capable of doing. I’ll try to call Mario Balotelli. On an economic point of view, we’ll see what happens. I think that at this time Mario needs to find the will he needs to compete.
“It will be tough, it will be almost impossible as it is something that football has never seen, but he could do it.”
Balotelli has played in the third tier of Italian football before. He did so for Lumezzane in 2007, before he moved to Inter Milan, at which point he would have been just 17 years old.
Despite scoring 88 goals in seven seasons during spells with Inter, Manchester City and AC Milan, he’s simply been unable to recreate that form at Anfield – finding the net just four time in all competitions, with only one of those coming in the Premier League – against Tottenham back in February.
The signing of Christian Benteke and Danny Ings, as well as Divock Origi’s return from his loan spell with Lille, are going to make first-team opportunities hard to come by for Mario next season, but surely someone higher up would take him…?