Liverpool are reportedly considering an audacious move for AC Milan star Mario Balotelli should they ship away Luis Suarez in the ongoing transfer window.
The former Manchester City striker has been linked with a move away from San Siro with Arsenal thought to be among the interested parties. However, the Merseyside club have entered the race as the Uruguayan international looks to be on the verge of leaving Anfield this summer.
Recent reports have claimed that Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre is set for talks with Barcelona to discuss a potential move for the shamed striker's move to Camp Nou.
The Daily Express states that the Reds' boss Brendan Rodgers has earmarked the Italian international as a direct replacement if the former Ajax star is sold during the summer transfer window.
Suarez is barred from playing football for four months after biting Giorgio Chiellini during his country's World Cup clash against Italy last week. The 27-year-old issued an apology seven days after the incident and speculations doing the rounds claimed that the Catalan giants had demanded the statement through his advisers.
Luis Enrique's side are heavily linked with Suarez and are said to be staring at an asking price of £70m-80m by the Merseyside club. However, the La Liga outfit might consider adding Alexis Sanchez as makeweight to strike a bargain.
Rodgers is thought to be interested in signing the Chilean international but is keener on replacing the PFA's Player of the Year and FWA's Footballer of the Year winner with a like-for-like candidate.
Balotelli is believed to be extremely unhappy at Milan according to the striker's agent Mino Raiola.
The Express' report also suggests that Raiola has hinted about the 23-year-old's desire to return to England by saying, "Maybe it was a mistake to bring Mario back to Italy. For him it is essential to go where he is loved, and at AC Milan some people love him and some do not."
Recently, the Gunners boss Arsene Wenger went on to quash speculations about Balotelli's move to the Emirates.
"We cannot believe absolutely everything that is on the internet or in the papers. Sometimes it is created by agents or by press who need news. But in this case, it's not true," Wenger told beIN Sport.
With the north London club taking a back seat, the advantage is now with Liverpool who can make the Italian a part of the Anfield roster for £30m.