Pescara appear to be the latest club to dismiss the idea of a summer approach for – outcast Mario Balotelli. The Abruzzo-based club won promotion back to the Italian top-flight for the first time since 2013 last term, beating Trapani 3-1 on aggregate in the Serie B play-off final.
Looking to further bolster their survival hopes, Sky reporter Gianluca Di Marzio suggested last week that Pescara had made an offer to Balotelli that was politely declined. Manager Massimo Oddo is in the market to improve his strikeforce after seeing AC Milan swoop for last season's top scorer Gianluca Lapadula and with Gianluca Caprari only available on loan following his recent switch to Inter.
Pescara are the second Serie A newcomers to be linked with Balotelli this summer after Crotone president Raffaele Vrenna confirmed last month that he phoned agent Mino Raiola regarding a possible deal. He further expressed a belief that Stadio Ezio Scida was the "ideal environment for young talent to grow and express themselves", although Delfini counterpart Daniele Sebastiani believes the chances of either club landing a player of that stature is very remote indeed.
"The name Balotelli gets brought up a lot, but Mario is a great player and the last thing I think he will do is come play for Pescara or Crotone," he told Premium Sport, as quoted by Gazzetta dello Sport. "I know where we have to take action, but we also must remain patient and do our market. We don't have to bring in celebrities to please someone. We work to buy players who would best suit Pescara."
Jurgen Klopp has made it perfectly clear that Balotelli, signed by Brendan Rodgers for a £16m ($21.1m) fee back in August 2014, does not feature in his future plans at Liverpool and the player has remained on Merseyside training with the U21s while the first team have been competing against the likes of Chelsea, AC Milan and Roma in the US. Sampdoria, Napoli, Ajax and unnamed Chinese Super League clubs have all been mentioned in connection with a move over recent weeks, although previous front-runners and Turkish champions Besiktas look to have dropped out of the race judging by the latest comments from manager Senol Gunes.
"There were also rumours about [Aleksandar] Kolarov but he wasn't in my plans," he said. "Balotelli isn't in my plans either. I don't have a favourable view of Mario Balotelli. I have never expressed a positive insight on him."