Juventus insist they have no interest in signing Mario Balotelli, despite reports linking them with the striker in recent weeks.
The controversial 24-year-old Italy international has spent his career yo-yoing between the top-flights in his homeland and England, having initially shot to prominence at Internazionale. It was here where he earned a reputation as something of a loose cannon, and he further lived up to this billing when he left the San Siro and joined Manchester City for £20million in 2010.
After helping the Blues end their 35-year wait for silverware when they won the FA Cup in 2012, he then played his part when they lifted the Premier League title the next year. But the Etihad Stadium club ran out of patience with his off-field antics and ill-discipline on the field, and with plenty of other options, they were happy to recoup their outlay when he joined Milan in January 2013.
Balotelli scored 26 goals in 43 Serie A appearances for the Rossoneri as he looked to have found his perfect fit, yet they too soon decided he was too much to handle and accepted an offer of £16million from Liverpool for him in the summer. But whilst the Italian may have curbed his wild days somewhat, on the pitch he has yet to score a league goal for the Anfield club.
But it is not just the lack of goals that has upset the Reds and their supporters, but his apparent disinterest in pulling his weight. This has led to speculation that Brendan Rodgers is preparing to offload him during the current transfer window, just six months after his arrival on Merseyside, and reports have suggested that Juventus may be willing to take a chance on the striker.
This would see Balotelli link up with his former Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, who at least got some good form from the player. However, when asked if he was lining up a move for the player, the Bianconeri head coach told RAI: “I think this is a made up story. Mario Balotelli has done very well with me but he belongs to Liverpool and he is not a player that can arrive at Juventus.”
Meanwhile, Juventus have also rubbished reports that they could be willing to cash in on Paul Pogba. Since leaving Manchester United due to a lack of first team opportunities, the 21-year-old has emerged as one of the best midfielders in Europe, with a host of clubs interested in signing him. But Giuseppe Marotta insists the Serie A champions have no interest in selling.
“What was a promising player has become a reality,” the Turin club’s general director told Sky Italia when the subject of Pogba’s potential exit was raised. “Every European club is watching Paul Pogba and have been in contact with us. We, however, want to have a strong team made up of champions. We have an important player in Pogba and we don’t have a need or desire to sell him.”
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