Mario Balotelli looks set to join Turkish side Adana Demirspor this summer, with the club’s chairman claiming that negotiations are “85 per cent” complete as the former Italy international looks set to return to first-division football.
The veteran striker, who has spent a colorful career hopscotching around a host of European clubs, spent the second half of last season with Italian Serie B side Monza, with whom he came close to achieving play-off promotion to Italy’s Serie A
Now, he is poised to play in his fourth different country, as he reportedly looks to reignite his hopes of forcing his way into Robert Mancini’s thinking, as mooted by the president of the Blue Lightnings, a club that won promotion to the Super Lig in May.
What Adana’s chairman said
“The negotiation with Mario Balotelli is 85 percent [complete],” chairman Murat Sancak told A Spor. “He contacted us and told us he wanted to come here. He will arrive in Turkey next week”.
Sancak was happy to deliver answers as to why Balotelli had chosen to move away from Europe’s big leagues, indicating that it is driven by a desire to earn a recall to the international fold with the Azzurri, as well as adding that his wages will be covered in part by club sponsors.
“Balotelli wants to come here to go to the World Cup,” he 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.”
Former Golden Boy makes next career swerve
Having started his senior career with a spell at Lumezzane before he moved to Inter as a teenager, Balotelli has become renowned as much for his on-and-off-field controversies as his talents on the pitch.
A three-time league winner with the Nerazzurri and later a Premier League champion with Manchester City, his stock has fallen substantially in recent years, having gone from French side Nice to Brescia and Monza in Italy.
His hopes in making the move to Turkey seem to be to force his way back into contention for his country — an achievement that would be no mean feat for the 30-year-old given the Azzurri’s current undefeated streak in world football, a run that has left them among the favourites to win Euro 2021 this month.