By Derrick Kiplagat
Newcastle United boss Steven McClaren is said to be interested in signing the Italian on a season-long loan deal from the Anfield club, as he believes he’s able to get the best out of the misfiring forward.
The Italian forward who previously played for Serie A side AC Milan only joined Liverpool last summer, but bagged just four goals in all competitions – and one in the Premier League throughout the entire campaign.
His attitude is said to have put off manager Brendan Rodgers, and he is now prepared to shift the player on in order to make room for another forward. Liverpool has already signed Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim and Danny Ings from Burnley this summer, and they are also reportedly closing in on the signing of Belgian Center forward Christian Benteke from Aston Villa.
Liverpool has yet to respond to Newcastle’s offer, though it is believed the club would prefer to offload the player permanently as opposed to giving him up on loan. The likes of Sampdoria and other clubs in Italy have however withdrawn their interest in the player, so it could be down to Liverpool to consider a loan if they want the 24-year-old off their books.
The Magpies are frantically searching for a new center forward, and have switched their attention to Balotelli because their approaches for QPR’s Charlie Austin and Wolfsburg’s Bas Dost appear to be hitting the wall.
Coach McClaren and club owner Mike Ashley believe a marquee signing would attract the club’s fans to snap up the remainder of the season tickets on sale, with 30 percent of those tickets yet to be sold.