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Parma confirm Balotelli interest after De Rossi price proves stumbling block

3:52 AM IST 29/06/19
Mario Balotelli Marseille Angers Ligue 1 30032019
The cost of the former Roma favourite has dissuaded the Serie A club from any pursuit, but the ex-Manchester City and Milan man remains an option

Parma are interested in a move for out-of-contract Marseille striker Mario Balotelli, but the club cannot afford a deal for former Roma hero Daniele De Rossi, confirmed the club's sporting director Daniele Faggiano.

The Serie A club survived their first season back in the top flight of Italian football by three points and are preparing to strengthen their squad in the hopes of establishing themselves as mainstays in the division.

Former Manchester City and Milan forward Balotelli sees his deal with Ligue 1 outfit Marseille expire on June 30, leaving him as a free agent.

Reports have suggested that Parma are set to swoop for the former Golden Boy winner, who scored eight goals in 12 appearances following his mid-season move from rivals Nice.

Speaking to Radio Kiss Kiss , director Faggiano admitted that they are admirers of the Italy international, but added that he was aware several other sides would be interested in securing the 28-year-old's services.

"Balotelli is someone we like, and so do many other teams," he stated. "We're looking at a lot of strikers, but it's not easy."

De Rossi meanwhile is also without a club after calling time on his 19-year tenure with Roma, where he was a two-time Coppa Italia winner during his career, as well as a World Cup victor with his country in 2006.

The 35-year-old's wage demands however represent a significant stumbling block for Parma in any attempt to pursue the defensive midfielder and Faggiano has now effectively admitted that they will not make a move for him.

"It's true, we did think about De Rossi, but we just couldn't afford him," he added.

De Rossi is rumoured to have rejected a proposed over from fellow Serie A outfit Fiorentina, leaving his future unclear ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

Parma made one signing on Friday, with Andrea Adorante joining in a swap deal involving Gabriel Brazao, who has moved to Inter in the other direction.

The club are still making plans for their pre-season, with a trip to England confirmed in early August to face Premier League outfit Burnley at Turf Moor.