Mario Balotelli finds new club to try and earn Italy return

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald
  • 6 Jul 2021 08:58 BST
‘Balotelli’s last chance to save his career’ – Galliani

Mario Balotelli is close to joining Turkish side Adana Demirspor this summer, according to club chairman Murat Sancak.

The 30-year-old is currently a free agent after not extending his contract with Serie B side Monza, whom he played with for seven months of the 2020/21 campaign.

Ever since his career at the top level started to decline, Balotelli has had a nomadic few years, joining a series of clubs.

In his career so far, he has played for Lumezzane, Inter, Manchester City, Milan, Liverpool, Nice, Marseille and then Brescia before Monza.

Now, he will be heading to Turkey with Adana Demirspor, who recently earned promotion back to the Super Lig after 26 years in the lower divisions.

"The negotiation with Mario Balotelli is 85% [complete]," chairman Sancak told A Spor.

"He contacted us and told us he wanted to come here. He will arrive in Turkey next week".

Balotelli's Italy ambitions

Balotelli has not played for Italy since 2018 when he was surprisingly called up by Roberto Mancini for two friendlies against Saudi Arabia and France.

He came off just before the hour mark in the first game having found the back of the net, while he played 86 minutes versus France.

However, his decline at club level left him without any subsequent call-ups including for the 2020 European Championship.

Balotelli does, however, has aspirations of pulling on the Azzurri jersey again.

"Balotelli wants to come here to go to the World Cup," Sancak added. "The sponsor will pay half of his salary.

"They say that Balotelli is crazy but nobody has to worry: We are from Adana and we will be able to manage him."

He has made 34 appearances for Italy, scoring 14 goals.