Sunday 19 November 2017

Mario Balotelli at Liverpool training ground to complete £16m transfer

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

Mario Balotelli has arrived at Liverpool's Melwood training ground this evening to finalise his £16 million move back to English football.

The deal is likely to be completed by lunchtime tomorrow.

Negotiations over the controversial striker's transfer from AC Milan have gathered pace and he hopes to be able to take part in training with his new teammates on Saturday.

It means, however, that Balotelli will not be available for Monday's Premier League game against his former club Manchester City as the transfer won't be registered by the Friday deadline.

Key aspects of the discussions are believed to be the Merseyside outfit's desire to obtain some kind of guarantee about the discipline of the mercurial 24-year-old.

Balotelli on Thursday added credence to the reports that he is set to return to English football by saying it would be his last day at Milan's training ground.

The Serie A side followed that later with a statement on their website revealing he had said his farewells to his team-mates.

Liverpool have been looking for a marquee striker to replace the departed Luis Suarez this summer but their interest in Balotelli represents a remarkable about-turn from around three weeks ago.

When the Reds played Milan in a friendly in the United States, manager Brendan Rodgers expressed admiration for Balotelli but subsequently "categorically" said he was not a target.

Recently, however, a move for QPR's Loic Remy has collapsed while interest in former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o has cooled and attempts to sign Radamel Falcao from Monaco seem unrealistic.

With new signing Rickie Lambert the only frontline support for Daniel Sturridge and the transfer deadline nearing, a move for Balotelli has become more attractive.

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