Yes, you did read that right. Championship side Barnsley have enquired about signing Mario Balotelli.
Balotelli finds himself a free agent after leaving Italian Serie A side Brescia, his contract was mutually terminated due to him missing training sessions in June and July.
The 30 year old, who would be returning to England after leaving in 2015 after spells with Manchester City, which saw him become a Premier league winner – assisting Aguero’s title winning goal against Queens Park Rangers and a forgettable spell with Liverpool, was also linked to another Championship side, Watford.
Preliminary discussions have been held between Barnsley and Balotelli’s representatives but as of yet nothing official has taken place.
Balotelli has been training with semi-pro side Sporting Franciacorta in an attempt to regain his fitness ready for a return to professional football.
‘Super Mario’ as he has been nicknamed, has scored 151 goals over 383 career appearances in spells with Inter Milan, Manchester City, AC Milan, Liverpool and Nice.
However, throughout his career Balotelli has struggled with disciplinary issues
In 2009 he was suspended from Inter Milan’s squad by manager Jose Mourinho, in 2010 he was pictured alongside Mafia members in Italy, in 2011, whilst at Manchester City, Balotelli and his friends set off fireworks in the strikers house, the day before the Manchester derby – in which he infamously reveal a shirt reading ‘Why always me?’.
The Colliers narrowly survived relegation to League one last season, finishing 21st on 49 points, staying up by a single point.
Barnsley are currently sat in 16th in the Championship after 11 games played, in which they have picked up 13 points and will once again be targeting survival this season, something that they believe can be achieved by making a risky move for Balotelli.