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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Liverpool to confirm £16m Mario Balotelli deal tomorrow and end Samuel Eto'o interest

Published 24/08/2014 | 14:56

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Mario Balotelli arrives at Melwood to complete his move to Liverpool
Mario Balotelli arrives at Melwood to complete his move to Liverpool

Liverpool hope to announce the £16m signing of Italian forward Mario Balotelli from AC Milan on Monday - but the Reds have called off their interest in Samuel Eto'o.

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Brendan Rodgers had previously rubbished reports linking the Merseysiders with Balotelli but the former Manchester City star was in England on Friday to undergo a medical.

Last season's Premier League runners-up have strengthened significantly this summer after losing Luis Suarez to Barcelona for £75m.

Contrary to reports Balotelli is not expected to agree to a 'code of conduct' clause in his contract and looks set to earn £90,000-a-week.

The 24-year-old striker, who was in Melwood this weekend, returned to Italy to say his goodbyes ahead of the switch.

The Italian will sign a three-year contract but won't be confirmed as a Liverpool player in time to play his former employers when the Reds visit the Etihad Stadium on Monday night.

Eto'o, on the other hand, now looks increasingly unlikely to sign for Rodgers' side and may attempt to salvage talks with West Ham United.

The two parties had discussed a possible free transfer for the former Barcelona forward, but Eto'o was holding out for a club in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Balotelli’s representative Mino Raiola admits the enigmatic striker is now facing his last chance to forge a career at a leading club.

“Mario played well for six or seven months, giving a decisive push for them to enter the Champions League,” said Raiola.

“But then you could see he is not ready to be a leader. Will he ever be a leader? It’s not mandatory that every player has to be a leader.

“I sought out for him a team where he can be an important element without being asked to be a leader. Liverpool have Steven Gerrard. There Mario will be protected and can give his best.

“Now it’s up to him. Another flop is inadvisable... Not everyone is born to be a leader and a good striker is not always a leader either.

“Mario needs to get this pressure off his shoulders. He must feel free to score goals and that’s it.”

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