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'The negotiation is 85% done' - Balotelli set to join Turkish side Adana Demirspor, claims club chairman

17:17 BST 05/07/2021
Mario Balotelli Brescia
The much-storied striker looks set to head to south-east Europe on his next adventure, with an eye to forcing his way into Roberto Mancini's thinking

Mario Balotelli looks set to join Turkish side Adana Demirspor this summer, with the club's chairman claiming that negotiations are "85 per cent" complete as the former Italy international looks to bolster his World Cup hopes ahead of Qatar 2022 next year.

The veteran striker, who has spent a colourful career hopscotching around a host of European clubs, spent the second half of last season with Serie B side Monza, with whom he came close to achieving play-off promotion to Serie A

Now, he is poised to play in his fourth different country, as he reportedly looks to reignite his hopes of forcing his way into Robert Mancini's thinking, as mooted by the president of the Blue Lightnings.

What has been said?

"The negotiation with Mario Balotelli is 85% [complete]," chairman Murat Sancak told A Spor. "He contacted us and told us he wanted to come here. He will arrive in Turkey next week".

Sancak was happy to deliver answers as to why Balotelli had chosen to move away from Europe's big leagues, indicating that it is driven by a desire to earn a recall to the international fold with the Azzurri, as well as adding that his wages will be covered in part by club sponsors.

"Balotelli wants to come here to go to the World Cup," he added. "The sponsor will pay half of his salary.

"They say that Balotelli is crazy but nobody has to worry: We are from Adana and we will be able to manage him."

Former Golden Boy makes next career swerve

Having started his senior career with a spell at Lumezzane before he moved to Inter as a teenager, Balotelli has become renowned as much for his on-and-off-field controversies as his talents on the pitch.

A three-time league winner with the Nerazzurri and later a Premier League champion with Manchester City, his stock has fallen substantially in recent years, having gone from Nice to Brescia to Monza.

His hopes in making the move to Turkey seem to be to force his way back into contention for his country - an achievement that would be no mean feat given the Azzurri's current undefeated streak in world football, a run that has left them among the favourites to win Euro 2020 this month.

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