Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed his interest in Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli, but the club’s general manager Giuseppe Marotta has declared that the controversial forward is not a player the Italian champions are willing to buy.
The English newspaper The Times has reported that Allegri has expressed a desire to sign Balotelli – who arrived at Anfield this summer from AC Milan for a fee of £16 million – but the Juventus manager has conceded he is unsure of his club’s ability to finalize any deal.
“We would like to recruit him, but we do not know if it is possible,” Allegri is quoted as saying in The Times.
“Mario had a good season with me [at AC Milan]. Unfortunately he’s built up a character outside of the world of football and everyone talks about what he does off the pitch.”
“All coaches love to lead the best players.”
But Juventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta doesn’t appear to share the same affinity for the mercurial striker.
“Balotelli is not the player we are willing to buy, we will go forward with this group,” Marotta said. “Balotelli is not what we are seeking.”
Rumors began to pick up steam this weekend that the Italian champions had stepped up interest in the player who has failed to score a Premier League goal for Liverpool this season and has found it difficult to break into Brendan Rodgers’ starting eleven in recent weeks.
Balotelli has only scored twice for the Merseyside club since his arrival from AC Milan, once each during the Champions League group stages and Capital One Cup.
But reports this weekend have linked the Italy international with a switch to Juventus. Speculation is the Serie A champions were to initially take Balotelli on loan before signing the striker to a permanent deal worth £14 million at the conclusion of the 2014-15 campaign.