Mario Balotelli - Nice - Close up

Reports of Mario Balotelli to the Philadelphia Union? Not true, says Tanner


Could the Philadelphia Union be looking to acquire Mario Balotelli?

Citing an anonymous source, Crossing Broad's Kevin Kinkead reported on Wednesday that the Union are eyeing a high-profile forward signing and have "kicked the tires" on a potential deal with Super Mario, who is out of contract after this season.

Not so fast. Union sporting director Ernst Tanner reacted swiftly with a strong denial to the reports. 

"There is not a piece of truth in that story," Tanner told's Jonathan Tannenwald. "I don't know why this is coming up. … I never was in touch with him."

Balotelli, 28, has been with Ligue 1's Nice for the past three seasons. He got his career back on track in his first two, scoring 33 goals in 51 appearances, but has featured just twice this season since former New York City FC boss Patrick Vieira became manager. The Italian international enjoyed a meteoric rise with Inter Milan and Manchester City while being no stranger to newspapers, regularly making headlines off the field.

The Union could have a hole in their attack should Borek Dockal return to Europe, as has been reported, but for now at least, it sounds unlikely that it will be filled by the mercurial Balotelli. 

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