Liverpool looking to use big money flop as part of summer deal for Klopp favourite

Liverpool are planning to offer Mario Balotelli as part of a deal for Fiorentina’s Josep Ilicic this summer, according to reports from Il Giornale.

The Italy international, signed under Brendan Rodgers in the summer of 2014, is currently back at AC Milan on loan after a disastrous debut season that saw him notch just four goals in all competitions before being largely frozen out of first-team proceedings.

It was initially hoped on Merseyside that ‘Balo’ would revive his ailing career back in Italy, but his spell at the San Siro has been largely forgettable, which has led to suggestions that the Rossoneri have no desire to keep him, making a shock move to China a serious option for the 25-year-old.

However, reports claim that Liverpool may still be able to find a use for Balotelli, as part of a swap deal for Fiorentina’s Ilicic.

The Slovenia international is thought to be a player Jurgen Klopp admires, with the 28-year-old a versatile attacking midfielder with good mobility.

But, a big factor in the potential deal could be Balotelli’s wages, which are beyond the reach of La Viola.

It seems that the former Inter Milan and Manchester City striker would have to take a pay cut, or that Liverpool will be forced to pay a chunk of his salary for the foreseeable future to push through a transfer.