Not a transfer window has gone by in recent years without West Ham United being linked with Mario Balotelli.
According to the likes of The Sun, West Ham were offered controversial forward Balotelli on a free transfer last summer.
But Claret & Hugh claimed then Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini had reservations about the Italian striker’s attitude.
West Ham were told Balotelli wanted £3million per year in wages plus performance-related bonuses and a large signing-on fee to join (Football Italia).
In the end West Ham signed flop Albian Ajeti for £8million while Balotelli signed for his hometown club Brescia.
Now it appears the former Manchester City and Liverpool maverick’s stay there will be short.
Balotelli will be available on a free again in the summer if, as looks increasingly likely, Brescia are relegated. That is a full TWO YEARS before his original contract is due to expire.
That could tempt West Ham, who are going to be cash-strapped in the next transfer window according to widespread claims.
During a spell in France there was the suggestion Balotelli had matured.
But any talk of West Ham signing the controversial forward has surely been put to bed once and for all after comments from the Brescia president Massimo Cellino.
Balotelli missed 10 days of training and had a huge bust-up with Cellino, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
President’s comments should end of Balotelli West Ham talk for good
It is the latest in a series of issues he has had at Brescia this season.
The 30-year-old did eventually return to training but separately from manager Diego Lopez and the rest of his team-mates.
Balotelli has since claimed he missed training due to illness.
But Cellino did not pull any punches when discussing the perienniel West Ham target.
“Living in Brescia, returning to the national team, his home, his mother, his brothers, his friends… I thought all the conditions were met,” Cellino told Corriere dello Sport.
“But there was nothing to be done. Mario lives above the rules, or by his own rules. You tell him one thing and he does another.
“He’s a strange lad, he no longer has his mind with us and I am taking his departure for granted. It’s not necessarily different to what he’s always done in his career, he’s just a bit anarchic,” Cellino told Telelombardia (as reported by Football Italia).
‘I think we both made a mistake’
“(Former coach Eugenio) Corini cared for him, he allowed some lateness to slide, a few training sessions at a low tempo… We are disappointed, perhaps he will be too.
“We didn’t sign Balotelli just as a media coup, we really did believe he could’ve given us an important contribution on the pitch. I thought, because I like him, that he could create something new for himself in Brescia.
“We are disappointed in him.
““He doesn’t show up to training, he doesn’t look very committed let’s say, for the future of the club.
“I think we both made a mistake.”
Of course there are two sides to every story.
But from a sporting perspective alone West Ham should resist any temptation to try and be the club to revive Balotelli’s career.
Balotelli ticks none of those boxes.
Throw in his questionable attitude and the alarm bells should be ringing no matter how much David Sullivan and David Gold love a bargain.