Our transfer bin is getting pretty full and with the summer transfer window drawing ever closer, a trip to the dump could soon be in order.
Both players have been linked with the exit in recent months, with the Dutchman failing to replicate his debut season at Old Trafford – due in part to a series of injuries – and the Italian linked with a whole host of clubs both in England and elsewhere.
But the latest story – from Sport Mediaset – is perhaps the most baffling yet suggested, with the report claiming the two sides could swap their big-name goal-scorers this summer.
There is little more substance to the claim than that, and it seems two reportedly unhappy footballers have simply been thrown together to make a story. But United are unlikely to part company with van Persie given the continuing reports linking his international manager Louis van Gaal with the Old Trafford hot-seat.
The two men get on extremely well and have recently been seen watching matches together while the £24million signing recovered from injury.
But even if van Gaal is not ultimately the man tasked with turning United’s fortunes around, why would they bring in Balotelli who is no more viable a goal-threat and game-changer than the likes of Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Juan Mata?
What United need now is stability, and that is unlikely to come if the former Manchester City striker arrives.
So chalk this down as pure speculation, with the next destination of Balotelli still very much a mystery.