Friday 15 December 2017

Video: I'm leaving AC Milan today - Mario Balotelli confirms ahead of £16m Liverpool move

Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

Sky Italia are reporting that Mario Balotelli will join Liverpool in a deal worth £16million.

They showed footage of Balotelli arriving for training this morning at Milanello in a very expensive looking red sports car.

The broadcasters are reporting that a fee has been agreed between the clubs.

Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola is in England to try and push through the deal and is looking for a five-year contract for his client.

After the session, Balotelli confirmed to journalists that he would be leaving the club he joined from Manchester City last year. "This is my last day in Milan, my last day at Milanello," he said.

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Balotelli enjoyed a whirlwind stint at City between 2010 and 2013, winning an FA Cup and Premier League title with the club but gaining notoriety for his unpredictable off-field behaviour.

His tendency to appear in the gossip pages led to a famous goal celebration when, after scoring against neighbours Manchester United in October 2011, he lifted his shirt to reveal a slogan that read "Why Always Me?".

Balotelli eventually left England for Milan when then City boss Roberto Mancini decided to cash in on the eccentric forward.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has experience with difficult characters, of course, having coaxed the best out of Luis Suarez before his departure for Barcelona.

Suarez's disciplinary problems - including biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic on Rodgers' watch - as well as a publicly stated desire to leave in 2013 caused headaches for Rodgers but the Uruguayan thrived on the pitch.

He swept the board at the end of season awards and the £65-75million Liverpool eventually banked from Barca largely funded a squad-building spending spree this summer.

But Rodgers remains in the marker for a marquee striker to share the load with Daniel Sturridge, with Rickie Lambert currently the only frontline support.

Monaco's Radamel Falcao is another big name who has been linked but Balotelli, who has been valued at around £17.5million, would be a more attainable target.

He scored 16 times for Milan last season, as well as grabbing Italy's winner in the World Cup opener against England in Manaus.

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