Newcastle United have made a move for Mario Balotelli according to claims this morning.

The Italian has been an unmitigated disaster for Liverpool, scoring only one Premier League goal over the course of last season after his £16m move from Milan.

With Roberto Firminio and Danny Ings already signed, plus Christian Benteke likely to join them, he looks surplus to requirements at Anfield and teh reports claim that Newcastle want to loan him in the coming season.

The Newcastle story is an ‘exclusive’ from the Winner Sports website who haven’t got the greatest strike rate with transfer stories, having already previously claimed United were on the verge of signing Jonny Evans and Rickie Lambert in this summer market.

They further report that Liverpool are yet to respond to Newcastle’s ‘offer’ and would prefer to get Mario Balotelli off their hands permanently, though would consider a loan if a sale doesn’t happen.

Whatever the truth of this exclusive, the longer it goes on without Newcastle United signing at least one or two strikers with a credible past record, it would look more and more likely that Mike Ashley could once again look to rely on a loan signing or two to fill that hole.

This was the case when he tried with mixed results when Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong were brought in at the start and middle of the 2013/14 season respectively.

That summer of 2013 of course saw not a single player bought…

As we all know, Mario Balotelli has his ‘issues’ but for AC Milan he scored 26 goals and only started 37 Serie A matches, so the talent is there.

As was the case with Newcastle United and Loic Remy, sometimes a desperate meeting of needs brings odd combinations together.

Though I think all of us would be surprised to see ‘Super Mario’ in black and white.