When Rangers were linked to Joey Barton some years ago, the ‘silly season’ was blamed. It was an absurd link, an idiotic target for Mark Warburton to be connected with, and it was nonsense.
Only, it wasn’t – not long later Barton was paraded in the blue of Rangers and he was our player in maybe the most sensational signing in Scottish football history since Maurice Johnston and Gazza.
Obviously, Barton wasn’t an amazing talent, albeit certainly a good one, but his reputation and baggage made the deal astonishingly ridiculous, and even more incredulous when it turned out true.
So, we at Ibrox Noise dubbed this situation ‘The Joey Barton Fallacy’.
In short, all links, no matter how utterly absurd, can no longer be discounted even if they seem impossible. If you can sign Joey Barton for Rangers, you can sign pretty much anyone.
And that’s why when we mention the name Mario Balotelli, while most fans would ‘point and laugh’, and look not only at his wages but the absolute circus that surrounds him, a small number might actually accept that this imminent free agent, about to be freed by Nice, would be one of hell of a signing.
Obviously, we’re not going to perpetuate foolish notions that ‘if anyone can straighten Mario Balotelli it’s Steven Gerrard’ – if he couldn’t fix Kyle Lafferty he won’t be able to rectify the crazy Italian.
But the flip side of this is what an unbelievable signing the former Milan, Liverpool and City striker would be – clearly his current wages would be impossible, but aged only 28, Balotelli remains a potentially world class player who can do things on his day no one else in the game can do.
He has an astonishing amount of talent, if a sadly diabolical attitude which hasn’t been helped by the hideous entourage he keeps with him.
But what a story it would be. Mario Balotelli banging the winner in an Old Firm derby.
Rangers have a history of stunning signings – Barton is only one of them. Paul Gascoigne, back in the day, was an earth-shattering signing, and even the English press refused to believe it being convinced it was Queen’s Park Rangers and not THE Rangers in for him.
But we signed him, and he was one of the greatest players we’ve ever had.
With Balotelli available for nought soon – wouldn’t that be the crazy story of the summer? Rangers to launch a bid to sign a striker of his calibre?
If Alfredo Morelos does indeed move on, and latest info is yet another Ligue 1 side wants him in the form of Lille, what a replacement Mad Mario would be.
Of course, many sensible reading this are shaking their heads wondering what we’re smoking today – and truth be told, we’re with you.
But just theoretically – a signing of the quality of Balotelli would easily be the biggest signing since Gazza, and at just 28 the guy has a tonne left to offer.
We don’t deny the carnival around him would hardly get fixed, and the maintenance would be at a height of epic proportions, but we still cannot get out of our head Balotelli banging in a 30 yard stunner at Parkhead to take all three points.
Wouldn’t be half bad in Europe either, would he?