Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli is expected to be leaving Liverpool this summer Getty Images

Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero has said he would welcome Mario Balotelli to the club "with open arms" if Liverpool drop their asking price for the striker.

Balotelli, 24, was left out of Liverpool's pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East and has been told by Brendan Rodgers that his future at the club is in his own hands.

After a dismal return of just four goals last season following his return to the Premier League, clubs interested in the Italy international would appear to be in short supply.

Ferrero, who previously told Italian radio station Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli he would take the ex-Manchester City star "in a heartbeat'", has said he is open to doing a deal, but he is only willing to pay a fraction of the £16m ($24.9m) Liverpool gave AC Milan last summer.

"I hear [Balotelli] was in Genoa yesterday, but he cost €10m," Ferrero told reporters, Sport Mediaset reports. "With a discount, I would take him with open arms. People have got to get used to how things are in this country – you can get by with little, you only die when you have nothing."

There would appear to be mixed messages over the prospect of the player arriving at Sampdoria, however. The club's new manager, Walter Zenga, recently ruled out the arrivals of Balotelli, along with another controversial Italian forward, Antonio Cassano.

"Cassano and Balotelli are players of extraordinary talent, but no, we won't be signing them," he was quoted as telling Rai Radio 2 by Goal in June.

With Danny Ings and Christian Benteke recruited over the summer, Rodgers is expected to be open to his misfiring hitmen of last season leaving the club. Fabio Borini has been in talks with Fiorentina, according to his agent Marco de Marchi, while Rickie Lambert could complete a move to West Brom this week, reports the Birmingham Mail.