Transfer window: Juventus denies Balotelli move

Mario Balotelli left Liverpool on a free transfer in August 2016 to join Nice. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Italy Jan 23, 2018, 09.59 AM (IST)

Juventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta has dismissed reports that the Serie A champions are interested in signing Italian striker Mario Balotelli as "a hoax".

There were reports that a five-year deal was in the offing for the former Manchester City striker, who has hit top form for Nice this season with 17 goals.

"Beyond our affection, esteem and liking for this boy it's a fantasy football story," Marotta told Mediaset Premium on Monday.

"This is a profile we don't need."

Balotelli won six trophies with Inter Milan including the Champions League before moving to Manchester City in 2010, followed by two spells at AC Milan either side of an unsuccessful stint at Liverpool.

The 27-year-old left Liverpool on a free transfer in August 2016 to join Nice, who are sixth in the French league this season.

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Marotta confirmed the reigning six-time league champions' interest in Liverpool's German international Emre Can, whose contract expires in June.

"We know his contract is expiring but he could renew or have other opportunities," said Marotta.

"We'll try to bring him to us, I think a big club has to have the ambition to achieve difficult objectives."

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