Besiktas president Fikret Orman claimed yesterday the Turkish club were closing in on a deal for Mario Balotelli and the Liverpool striker was keen on the move.

Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli

“Mario Balotelli is the type of footballer that our fans can associate themselves with,” Orman told Turkish magazine Fanatik.

“In short, we want Mario Balotelli and he wants us too.”

However, reports in Turkish newspaper Sabah claim the 25-year-old has now turned down a move to the Istanbul-based club.

The report says Balotelli told his agent Mino Raiola to inform Besiktas of his decision and to let them know he sees his future in Europe’s top leagues instead.

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“Currently I want to continue my career in England, Italy or Spain. Maybe in the future I can wear a Besiktas shirt,” Balotelli’s message said.

Balotelli has been informed by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp that he’s not part of his plans for the coming season and the striker hasn’t travelled with the first-team to the USA.

The Italy international was signed as a replacement for Luis Suarez in 2014 but has made only 16 Premier League appearances in that time, scoring one goal


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