AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has arrived for his Liverpool medical after personal terms were reportedly agreed upon. A £16m fee with AC Milan had already been finalized.
A significant part of the deal is understood to be behavioral assurances Brendan Rodgers has taken to ensure that the controversial striker does not step out of the line and disrupt dressing room harmony. It has been spelt out to his agent what is expected out of the player with clauses in his contract outlining financial penalties if he steps out of line.
The deal will not be completed in time for Balotelli to face his former club Manchester City, who Liverpool take on on Monday.
Liverpool offered the Italian around £90,000 a week to return to England, but there are add-ons amounting to an additional £40,000 that guarantees a good code of conduct from the player. The striker was earning £160,000 a week in Italy, and commanded at Manchester City and is hence taking a significant pay-cut to arrive to Merseyside. This means that he is keen on the move and is ready to prove his potential in England once again.
Balotelli joined Manchester City in August 2010 for a hefty £24m from Inter Milan. He scored 30 goals in 80 games and helped his club win their first Premier League title. His second season saw a performance dip which was coupled with controversies including a training-ground bust-up with then-manager Roberto Mancini. He was sold to AC Milan in January 2013 for £19m, and the striker proved his potential once again and in one and a half years, scored 30 goals in 54 games.
Although Rodgers was not ready to comment about the potential arrival of Balotelli, he did make comments regarding discipline expected out of players which clearly indicated the Italian’s arrival.
He said, “We have quite an extensive code of conduct for players and staff. There is no specific one for any one individual. This isn’t like many clubs. Liverpool is a club that is a real strong family football club, with values and ethics that run over many years. I, as the manager, will fight to protect that always, so no matter which players or professionals are at the club, they will abide by that. But we understand that sometimes you have to take a risk with people. And a lot of the time, if you take that risk you can get a reward for it.”
The striker is in Liverpool at the moment ready to undergo his medical. If everything goes well, the Reds could announce his signing in the next 48 hours. He will not, however, take part against Manchester City.