Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers has opened the doors for a potential exit for controversial striker Mario Balotelli after insisting that the Italian’s future lies in his own hands.
Balotelli, who was signed from AC Milan for A?16 million last year, has failed to impress in his return to England, having scored a solitary goal in the league last season. The Italian has been left out of Liverpool’s pre-season tour of Thailand, Australia and Malaysia. The 24-year-old’s agent, Mino Raiola feels that he needs a change of scenery and is looking to broker a deal in Italy, with Napoli and Inter Milan reportedly interested.
Balotelli is at Melwood training base ‘working hard and training well’ – Brendan Rodgers
Balotelli has been left at the club’s Melwood training base along with other players including Jose Enrique and Fabio Borini, who are also expected to leave the club in this window. Speaking in the press conference after arriving for the Malaysia XI game in Kuala Lumpur, Rodgers said:
a Mario is obviously not on tour but working hard and training well with a number of other players at Melwood,a
Further when quizzed about the future of the 24-year-old, he added: a Ia m not sure, that will entirely be up to Mario.
a He is working hard to get fit and we will see when the season begins.a
The Reds manager failed to comment on any further transfers, insisting that his immediate aim was to improve the fitness of the new players, and help them settle into the system, while he also seemed content with the arrivals so far at Anfield.
He said: a I am only interested in talking about players that I currently have here,a he added, a not about players coming in or going out. Wea re here just to develop the fitness of the players here and help them improve tactically.
a With half a new team coming in, we want to keep improving the dynamic and cohesion of the team. Last season was a disappointment for us. We had to ensure we brought in quality to help us improve and we have done that.
a The mentality of the players we signed was very important. Ia m happy with those wea ve brought in. Ia ve got an inherent belief they can help us push on this season. .
a We are very hopeful that we will go on and be competitive this season and challenge on all fronts.a
The end of Balotelli’s second stint in England?
Contrary to Rodgers comments, Liverpool FC are looking to sell the striker, with the imminent arrival of Christian Benteke, the A?32.5 million signing from Aston Villa. The Belgian striker has reportedly completed his medical and has traveled to Merseyside to complete some formalities, before his transfer is announced.
Benteke is set to join a long list of Liverpool FC‘s recruits, as the club overhauled their squad with seven new signings. James Milner, Roberto Firmino, Nathaniel Clyne, Danny Ings, Joe Gomez and Adam Bogdan have already signed for the Merseyside club.
Rickie Lambert, although with the club on their pre-season tour, is also heading out of the exit door at Anfield, with West Brom said to be close to an agreement. Daniel Sturridge, however is slowly returning to fitness and with the arrival of Christian Benteke, it’s safe to assume that Mario Balotelli would not be a Liverpool FC player for long, which club takes a punt at him remains to be seen.