Former Liverpool player Phil Thompson is tipping both out of favour strikers Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli to move to China in the summer. Talking to Sky Sports, the ex Reds centre back was asked about whether Merseyside rivals Everton may bid for Benteke if, as expected, striker Romelu Lukaku leaves the club this summer but Thommo responded:
“Football is stranger than ever but I still think it would be highly unlikely that they’d sell to Everton. I remember back when I was youth team coach we sold Peter Beardsley to Everton and I thought it would come back to bite us, which it did. The way the Chinese market is going you’d think that is the most likely source for Liverpool to recoup the fee they spent on him. I’d imagine it will be a similar case for Mario Balotelli.”
Benteke, who is currently out injured with a knee injury, has been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid, while late last month Italian striker Balotelli, who is out of favour himself on loan back at AC Milan, was linked by Milan website Il Milanista with a £11.8million move to China side Jiangsu Suning.
Jiangsu currently have former Reds transfer target Alex Teixeira and ex Chelsea star Ramires playing for them, and they broke the Chinese transfer record with the £37.5million purchase of Teixeira from Shakhtar Donetsk back in January, beating the Reds to his signature.