West Ham United have been offered the chance to sign Mario Balotelli, who turned free agent at the beginning of July.
The Hammers failed in their pursuit of Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez and alternate target Callum Wilson, and have the opportunity to sign Balotelli, as per the Mirror.
Seeing the recent events unfold at the London Stadium, which led to the departure of Marko Arnautovic to Shanghai SIPG, the Irons need to sign at least one more striker as they are light on options in the forward department.
Balotelli scored 8 goals in 25 appearances across all competitions in the recently concluded campaign. He joined Marseille in January on a short-term deal, after he was released by Nice in the same month.
Should Pellegrini make a move for Mario Balotelli?
The Italian International, who made the move to Inter Milan’s senior side just at 16 years of age, has had a career full of crests and troughs plying his trade across three of the top five European leagues.
Balotelli, who stands in at 6ft 2in, is a strong player in and around the penalty area. Strong technically and in the air, he would be a dream signing, but he is a temperamental player, and the lack of consistency and maturity has stopped him from being one of the best in the world right now.
The Italian did manage to keep his head down while playing for Lucien Favre’s Nice more than two years ago, so somewhere in there, there’s still a capable player.
Balotelli averaged 3 shots per game last season, which highlights his confidence in the final third.
The 28-year-old enjoyed a productive spell in the French top-flight and still has more than a couple of years left in him.
Seeing the veteran Gianluigi Buffon shower praise on Super Mario, no one can doubt the Italian’s ability. However, his defensive contributions and discipline have been an area of concern for his employers over the years.
While one can turn a blind eye to the former, the latter cannot be pushed under the rug by any healthy functioning club out there and rightly so.
Although he sounds like an enormous risk, calculating the attacking options in the Hammers dressing room and Balotelli’s free-agent status, he seems like a risk worth taking.
Balotelli managed five yellow cards, one red card, and two man of the match performances for Marseille last season. That pretty much sums up the player, so the Hammers will have to prepare for a character if they go after him.