One route out of Liverpool for Mario Balotelli has been blocked, with Sampdoria manager Walter Zenga ruling out a move for the striker this summer.
Mario Balotelli is likely to leave Liverpool this summer, according to widespread reports, although finding a buyer for the Italian striker may prove difficult for the Reds.
Serie A side Sampdoria have already ruled themselves out of the race for his signature.
Balotelli’s stock fell drastically during 2014/15, scoring just one goal in 16 Premier League games.
At odds with Brendan Rodgers’ demanding attacking system, it wasn’t down to a lack of endeavour that Balotelli failed on Merseyside, however the manager tried to argue otherwise:
Rodgers on Balotelli: "If you can't press, you can't be a part of the team. It doesn't matter who the player is."
— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarrett) January 24, 2015
But given Rodgers’ reluctance to deploy him throughout last season, there is a sense of inevitability about his departure this summer.
Reports have previously linked Balotelli with a loan move back to Serie A, with a permanent switch made difficult by the vast discrepancy between his wages and his performances.
However, Sampdoria manager Walter Zenga has ruled out a move for Balotelli completely, along with free agent Antonio Cassano.
“Cassano and Balotelli are players of extraordinary talent, but no, we won’t be signing them,” he said.
He later continued: “We have already made three or four buys. There’s Edgar Barreto, Niklas Moisander, Federico Bonazzoli and Mattia Cassani. We got Cassani to plug the gap after Lorenzo De Silvestri’s injury.
“The club acted quickly in the transfer market and we are building a good squad.”
It seems like Liverpool aren’t the only club leaving Balotelli behind this summer.