Sampdoria president wants Mario Balotelli to replace Antonio Cassano

Mario Balotelli on bench Mario Balotelli managed just one Serie A goal last season.

Sampdoria forward Antonio Cassano has no future at the club, according to president Massimo Ferrero, who once again invited Mario Balotelli to relaunch his career in Liguria.

Although Cassano, 33, is contracted with the Blucerchiati for another year, Ferrero announced that he is unlikely to be part of the playing staff available to new coach Marco Giampaolo, who was appointed on Monday.

“He had his chance and I think the story is over now,” Ferrero said. “He’s a great talent, but I don’t think he’s going to remain part of this Sampdoria project.”

While Cassano may not have a future in Genoa, Ferrero did say once again that his club could be the one to revive the career of Balotelli, who has reported back for preseason training with Liverpool, but is unlikely to stay on Merseyside.

He spent last season on loan at AC Milan, but managed just one goal in Serie A.

“Balotelli is Balotelli’s worst enemy,” Ferrero said. “Like Cassano is Cassano’s worst enemy. He’s a great player whose been stuck back in the 1960s.

“He could relaunch [his career] at a passionate club like ours, but he’s still a bit confused. I’ve tried to tell him to come to Samp because he’s a great talent.”

Meanwhile, Ferrero admitted that Roberto Soriano is likely to leave Sampdoria this summer. AC Milan, Empoli and Bologna are all keen on the player who was close to joining Napoli a year ago.

“Soriano needs to follow his heart,” Ferrero said in Il Corriere dello Sport.

“He was about to sign for Inter in January. There are moments when a player has to do what he wants and it’s right that he follows his own path.”

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

The original version of this story which was published by ESPN can be viewed here.

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