Mario Balotelli could be set for a shock reunion with AC Milan after Adriano Galliani claimed the club have a “love affair” with the striker.
Sports5050 understands that the Liverpool flop met with Rossoneri boss Sinisa Mihajlovic on Saturday to discuss a potential loan to San Siro, 12 months after departing for Anfield.
Balotelli and Mihajlovic worked together earlier in the 25-year-old’s career when the coach was an assistant at Milan’s rivals Inter, and the former defender is prepared to offer a lifeline to the striker, who has been frozen out at Anfield.
Milan desperately wanted Zlatan Ibrahimovic to return this summer but Paris Saint-Germain’s refusal to sell their star striker has seen club CEO Galliani searching for alternatives.
Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola suggested the club take another chance on another of his high-profile clients, Balotelli, who scored just one goal in 16 Premier League appearances last campaign.
Taking Balotelli on a season-long loan would mean Milan could evaluate whether they want to keep him or offer Ibrahimovic a contract once his deal at Parc des Princes expires next year.
Goal understands that Balotelli is currently in Italy having been given the weekend off by Liverpool, although the club are unaware of any offer having been made by Milan.
While there is no truth behind suggestions that Balotelli will be paid a six-figure loyalty bonus by the Reds should he remain at the club beyond August 31, they are understood to be keen to explore options to offload the player and will be prepared to cover his wages in full during the loan spell.
When Galliani was asked about the possibility of Balotelli calling San Siro his home ground for the third time in his career, the Rossoneri chief did little to dispel the notion.
“Certain loves never die,” he told Sky Sport. “They draw enormous circles and then they come back. Club president Silvio Berlusconi and I are two romantics.”
Balotelli spent 18 months as a Milan forward before joining Liverpool for an estimated £16 million – roughly the same amount Milan bought him for in January 2013 – in the aftermath of the 2014 World Cup.