Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 August 2020

Sharjah deny making an offer to sign Mario Balotelli

UAE champions say they are not looking to recruit Brescia forward

Brescia's Mario Balotelli against Inter Milan. Reuters
Brescia's Mario Balotelli against Inter Milan. Reuters

UAE champions Sharjah say they have not made an offer to sign Italian striker Mario Balotelli.

Reports emerged initially in Italy earlier this week that the Brescia forward was weighing up a number of options in the region, including from Saudi Arabia, although that Sharjah were believed to represent his No 1 choice.

However, senior sources at the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) side told The National they have not approached Balotelli with a view to recruiting him. There may, though, be a link in future with regards to the club’s academy. Last month, Sharjah welcomed former Dutch international Clarence Seedorf to the emirate to discuss potential business partnerships.

Balotelli, 29, has been at Brescia since last year having previously represented a slew of prominent European clubs, including Inter Milan, Manchester City, Liverpool, AC Milan and Marseille. With Inter, he won three Serie A titles and the 2009/10 Uefa Champions League.

During a memorable time at City, Balotelli helped the club lift the 2011/12 Premier League crown. He was also part of the Italy team that finished runners-up at the 2012 European Championship.

Sharjah remain UAE champions after securing the 2018/19 title - their first top-flight crown in 23 years. This season’s Arabian Gulf League was cancelled last month because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with the club fifth in the table when the competition was halted in March with seven rounds remaining.

Last week, Sharjah announced manager Abdulaziz Al Anbari had agreed a new two-year deal. In guiding the club to the UAE title, he became the first Emirati to win the championship as manager in the professional era.

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Balotelli and other stars with their cars

Updated: July 8, 2020 06:58 PM

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