Wednesday 7 December 2016

Why always him? Mario Balotelli set to return to Liverpool for pre-season training

Carl Markham

Published 01/07/2016 | 07:26

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli will return for pre-season training on Saturday
Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli will return for pre-season training on Saturday

Liverpool misfit Mario Balotelli will return for training this weekend as his Anfield exit is still not agreed.

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All players who have not had international commitments at Euro 2016 or the Copa America will report to the club's Melwood base on Saturday as manager Jurgen Klopp begins his first pre-season.

That means striker Balotelli, who was loaned to AC Milan after enduring a woeful maiden season at Anfield, in which he registered just one Premier League strike, will be subjected to the same rigorous schedule as the rest of the squad.

Klopp's four new signings - £30million forward Sadio Mane, defender Joel Matip, midfielder Marko Grujic and goalkeeper Loris Karius - will all be in attendance to meet their new team-mates.

Liverpool had hoped Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola would have found a suitable destination for the 25-year-old, having been given the go-ahead to do so in February, but links with the Chinese Super League and Turkey have failed to turn into anything more substantial.

Defender Martin Skrtel, who is still on leave after captaining Slovakia at the European Championship, is expected to complete a £5million move to Fenerbahce in the next few days as Klopp's clear-out continues. The German boss has already allowed Kolo Toure's contract to expire.

On Thursday Liverpool agreed terms with Watford for young striker Jerome Sinclair, with Press Association Sport understanding the club will receive £4million instead of having to go through a tribunal to claim a development fee for the 19-year-old.

Sinclair became Liverpool's youngest player aged just 16 years and six days when he made an appearance in a League Cup tie against West Brom in September 2012.

Although he scored his maiden senior goal in January, he has now chosen to try his luck elsewhere.

Press Association

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