Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is reportedly attracting serious interest from Dutch giants Ajax. The controversial star has been put up for sale by Reds boss Jürgen Klopp and Ajax have emerged as one of the parties interested in signing the Italian.
Balotelli, 25, remained on Merseyside to train with Liverpool's Under-21s, while the first-team squad headed to the United States for their tour. The out-of-favour forward has attracted firm interest from Besiktas, but is thought to be reluctant to make the switch to Turkey.
Balotelli has also been linked with a move to the Chinese Super League, where he could command a jaw-dropping salary, as well as with a return to Italy, where he spent last season on loan at AC Milan from Liverpool.
However, according to the Daily Mail, Ajax have now expressed an interest in signing him. The four-time European Cup winners are looking for a new striker and it is reported that preliminary talks have already taken place between Ajax's hierarchy and Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola.
Ajax are keen to ascertain whether Balotelli would be interested in joining the Dutch side from Liverpool. And while Ajax have yet to make an official approach for his services, Balotelli has indicated a willingness to drop his current £90,000 per week terms to fit in at Ajax, whose budget is much more restricted than Liverpool's.
The report comes shortly after Klopp admitted Balotelli does not have a future with Liverpool. "He's not at the stage of his career where he should be battling with four or five other players for one or two positions," explained Klopp, according to the Daily Telegraph.
"We want him to become the player he was before his injury – the talent is still there, there's no doubt about it. When we have done the crossing, heading and stuff he's been world class. But this is not a situation where he should be battling with other players like this for one position, so it's clear we need a solution."
The Liverpool boss added: "There will be a club around who would be happy to have new Mario Balotelli. I have spoken clearly to the player about that. In this case, it's obvious. It's now time to make decisions and I try to help Mario to get in the best shape he can be in and we will see what happens."