“Why not?” – Besiktas confirm interest in Mario Balotelli after Mario Gomez unrest

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After previously denying their interest in Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli, a change in circumstances could see Besiktas make a move.

The Turkish Super Lig side had ruled themselves out of the running to sign the 25-year-old, leaving Liverpool short of potential suitors.

Back in June, sporting director Erdal Torunogullari said that their “priority is to hold on to Mario Gomez.”

But with the Germany international confirming last week that he would not be making his loan move to the Istanbul club permanent due to the “political situation” in Turkey, Besiktas’ focus has changed.

According to their president, Fikret Orman, Balotelli is now a target, with the 48-year-old saying: “Balotelli? Why not?”

Turkish outlet Fanatik report that Orman continued to stress any move for Balotelli would depend on the player’s wage demands.

Balotelli is said to earn £90,000 a week at Liverpool, and Besiktas have baulked at this lofty fee.

The striker scored just three goals on loan with AC Milan last season, adding to the four scored in his only season with Liverpool in 2014/15.

This is likely why Orman is unwilling to cover Balotelli’s wages, whether the three-time Serie A, one-time Premier League winner joins Besiktas on loan or in a permanent deal.

European Football - UEFA Europa League - Round of 32 - Liverpool FC v Besiktas JK

Liverpool are desperate to get Balotelli off their books this summer, with Jurgen Klopp deeming him surplus to requirements.

Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Danny Ings, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Christian Benteke would all be ahead of him in the pecking order in attack.

Balotelli is currently training with the Liverpool Under-23s on Merseyside, while Klopp’s first team continue their tour of the US.

Sampdoria, Crotone and a host of clubs from the Chinese Super League have been credited with an interest in the former Manchester City striker, but Besiktas may be the most likely destination.

They will compete in this season’s Champions League, entering at the group stage having secured the Super Lig title in 2015/16.

Following Gomez’s departure, Besiktas have a relatively paltry selection in attack, in Cenk Tosun, Omer Sismanoglu and Mustafa Pektemek.

If they are looking to add star quality to their forward line, despite the considerable risks they would be taking, Balotelli would be a strong addition to Senol Gunes’ squad.



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