According to ExWHUemployee, Mario Balotelli is on West Ham’s transfer shortlist this summer, but a move for the Italian remains unlikely.

The Hammers’ key target is Celta Vigo front-man Maxi Gomez.

According to Sky Sports, West Ham are prepared to meet the Uruguayan’s £44.85m release clause.

Olympique de Marseille v FC Nantes - Ligue 1
Mario Balotelli in action (Photo by Guillaume Ruoppolo – OM/OM via Getty Images)

Valencia are still in the running for Gomez, however, and the Hammers could miss out on the striker.

And if Manuel Pellegrini does fail to snare the Celta hitman, he will need to explore other potential targets.

According to ExWHUemployee, Balotelli is an option for West Ham, but it remains highly unlikely that the 28-year-old will move to the London Stadium this summer:

Balotelli was in decent form for Marseille last term. He racked up eight goals in 15 Ligue 1 appearances.

The season before he was even better, with 26 goals in 38 appearances.

And the mercurial Italian would be an interesting option for the Hammers, despite the obvious risk involved.

On his day, Balotelli is unplayable, but the problem is that his off-field antics often undermine his performances on the pitch.

RC Strasbourg v Olympique de Marseille - Ligue 1
Mario Balotelli (Photo by Olympique de Marseille/OM via Getty Images)

His availability on a free transfer greatly reduces any risk involved for West Ham, however.

The former Manchester City, Liverpool and Inter Milan hitman has plenty of experience playing at the very highest level.

He won the Champions League in 2010 with Inter.

And should West Ham take a punt on Balotelli, it might just turn out to be an inspired signing.

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