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Flamengo pull out of deal to sign Balotelli

5:02 am AEST 16/8/19
Mario Balotelli Marseille
The club have confirmed the end of talks with the former Liverpool striker, who remains without a team after departing Marseille

Brazilian side Flamengo will not be pursuing a deal for striker Mario Balotelli, the club have announced.

It was reported earlier this week that the striker was in negotiations with the Serie A side over a deal after Balotelli left Marseille at the end of last season.

The Brazilian club were reported to have been reluctant to submit to the former Manchester City striker’s demands that they also sign his bother, Enock, and guarantee him at least 10 games in the reserve side.

And now Flamengo have confirmed that they have pulled out of negotiations to bring the forward to South America, with Balotelli now still on the hunt for a new club with a possible return to Italy mooted.

A club statement read: “Flamengo, Mario Balotelli and his representatives have decided, by mutual agreement and after two days of cordial meetings in Monaco, to close on this date all negotiations involving the possible signing of the player.”

The 29-year-old’s form had impressed his former president, Jacques-Henri Eyraud, at Marseille as he scored eight times in 15 appearances for the club, giving fans hope that he would be back at the Stade Velodrome again this season.

"It's true that I believed [in him] from the beginning," Eyraud said.

"Even [Marseille owner] Frank McCourt is someone who really believed in his type of profile at this time of the season, although we would have liked to see him come sooner.

"We are happy to see his performance, the way he was accepted into the group and the way he became integrated by his actions, his attitude, his behaviour on the pitch."

But the former Liverpool striker was released when his deal expired at the end of June, leaving him without a club as the new season gets under way.

Balotelli has been linked to a return to Italy's Serie A with Brescia on a three-year deal.

If that move does come to fruition, it will be the first time Balotelli features for an Italian club since 2015-16 when he left AC Milan, where he had been on loan from Liverpool, in order to join Ligue 1 side Nice.