Flamengo step up Balotelli pursuit

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 14, 2019
Adjust font size:
Corentin Tolisso (R) of France competes with Mario Balotelli (C) of Italy during a World Cup warm-up in Nice, France on June 1, 2018. France won 3-1. (Xinhua/Federico Simoni)

Mario Balotelli has agreed to hold talks with Flamengo amid mounting speculation that the Italian striker will complete a surprise move to Rio de Janeiro, according to Brazilian media reports.

Flamengo vice president Marcos Braz and football director Bruno Spindel traveled to Europe on Monday night in a bid to bring the 29-year-old to the Maracana, the Globo newspaper reported.

It added that Balotelli had given a "green light" for negotiations and that Flamengo hoped to secure the forward in time to register him for the Copa Libertadores quarterfinals, which start next week.

Balotelli, whose career has included spells at Inter Milan, Manchester City, Liverpool and AC Milan, is a free agent after parting ways with Marseille in June.

His arrival would follow a series of high profile signings by Flamengo this year, including former Bayern Munich right-back Rafinha and ex-Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis. The club also secured Inter Milan striker Gabriel Barbosa on loan in January.

Flamengo manager Jorge Jesus has made no secret of his desire to sign a central striker and last week he told reporters that Balotelli was on his wish-list.

The Rio outfit are currently third in the 20-team Brazilian Serie A standings, five points behind leaders Santos after 13 rounds. Last Wednesday, Flamengo advanced to the last eight of the Copa Libertadores - South America's top club competition - by defeating Ecuador's Emelec on penalties in the second leg of their last 16 clash.

They will meet Brazilian rivals Internacional in the quarterfinals over two legs on August 21 and 28.

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter