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 By Ben Gladwell

Sampdoria keen on Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli, club president says

Italy manager Antonio Conte spoke after his side's 1-1 draw with England about Mario Balotelli's playing time with Liverpool.

Sampdoria would like to sign Mario Balotelli from Liverpool, the Italian club's president has said.

Balotelli has struggled to make an impact with Liverpool this season following his transfer from AC Milan and he has been linked with a return to Serie A in the summer.

While Napoli and Juventus have ruled out moves for the 24-year-old, Samp president Massimo Ferrero told La Gazzetta dello Sport his club would be ideal for the Italy international.

"I would take him -- he'd be the real Balotelli again here," he said. "He wouldn't have too much pressure here in Genoa."

Sampdoria would not be able to match the wages Balotelli earns at Liverpool, but Ferrero believes that would be a good thing.

"He's lost his hunger," Ferrero said. "He's earning too much. If he was only on bread and water, he'd be a champion again."

Balotelli scored 14 goals in 30 Serie A appearances for Milan last season, taking his total to 58 goals in Italian football.

He has found the back of the net only four times in all competitions for Liverpool, however, while he has appeared -- albeit briefly -- in only one of their last seven games.

Ferrero, though, said there was no prospect of Antonio Cassano returning to Samp, despite the 32-year-old's availability on a free transfer after he left Parma earlier this season.

"He's a natural talent and I don't care less about his transgressions. I love him, but he missed the Sampdoria train many years ago," he said.


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