Mario Balotelli
Liverpool may look to offload Mario Balotelli before the end of the summer transfer window. Getty

Mario Balotelli could be set to return to his native Italy this summer, with the controversial Liverpool striker set to be offered an unlikely shot at career redemption by lower league club Lupa Castelli Romani.

Balotelli has struggled to attain regular first-team football since returning to England in a £16m deal last summer, scoring just four goals in all competitions during his debut season at Anfield and failing to convince Brendan Rodgers of his long-term suitability.

Such a lack of form and impact has led to suggestions that the player could depart Merseyside just 12 months after arriving from AC Milan, although no top suitors appear to have emerged for his signature as of yet.

A third stint in Serie A with Sampdoria became a realistic possibility in May after president Massimo Ferrero expressed a desire to pair Balotelli with Samuel Eto'o, but that idea was swiftly rejected by both manager Walter Zenga and Eto'o's subsequent decision to leave Stadio Luigi Ferraris in favour of a move to ambitious Turkish Super Lig newcomers Antalyaspor.

Given that Lupa Castelli currently ply their trade in Lega Pro, the third tier of Italian football, a deal for a forward of Balotelli's standing would appear very unlikely indeed regardless of his recent problems.

However, honorary president Marco Amelia believes the move could be very positive for the former Manchester City forward and significantly aid his quest to revitalise a stalling career and prove himself while also rebuilding a rapidly faltering reputation.

"Our intention is to bring our friend, Balotelli, here, a player who at this time needs to start afresh because we see that he does not want to play anymore, has fans opposing him and is no longer able to show his quality," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"For Balotelli, this could be the first step towards cleaning up his act, taking two steps back and showing everyone what he is capable of doing."

Amelia seems to acknowledge the immense difficulty that will inevitably be involved with a transfer that, if somehow achieved, would certainly rank among the most surprising of recent years. Despite that, he obviously retains a belief that it can happen.

He added: "I'll try to call Mario Balotelli. On an economic point of view, we'll see what happens. I think that at this time Mario needs to find the will he needs to compete.

"It will be tough, it will be almost impossible as it is something that football has never seen, but he could do it."

Balotelli did not travel to Southeast Asia and Australia for Liverpool's 2015 pre-season tour and Rodgers said earlier this week that the 24-year-old's future remains in his own hands.

"I'm not sure, that will entirely be up to Mario," he told BBC Sport.

"Mario is obviously not on tour but working hard and training well with a number of other players at Melwood. He is working hard to get fit and we will see when the season begins."

Rodgers' side needed an equaliser from Jordon Ibe to secure a 1-1 draw against a Malaysian XI in Kuala Lumpur yesterday (24 July), bringing to an end a tour that also featured victories over the Thai All-Stars and the Brisbane Roar as well as Adelaide United.

They return to the United Kingdom shortly before flying to Finland for a friendly against HJK Helsinki on 4 August.

Their pre-season schedule finishes with a trip to Swindon Town a day later and Liverpool open their 2015/16 Premier League account against Stoke City on 9 August.