Mario Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola has claimed that only a mammoth transfer offer would remove the striker from Liverpool while admitting that the decision to leave Manchester City was one that backfired on the controversial Italian striker.
Mario Balotelli moved to Liverpool this summer and is yet to score a goal for the club in the English Premier League. The striker’s agent sought to explain Balotelli’s drop in form while reminding him that he has a long contract with the club. He also asked the Italian to adjust to the club’s playing style in order to fit in at Anfield.
“Liverpool are different from other clubs. There, [because of Brendan Rodgers’s philosophy] they can’t allow themselves 10 players who run and a superstar [who doesn’t]. Mario is a player who changes a game for you in two or three moments, so they have to adapt to him and him to them.”
The agent also made it clear that Mario Balotelli would only leave Liverpool if a mammoth offer was made to acquire his services by another club.
“I saw him on Monday and said: ‘You’ve got a [long] contract and I’m not taking you away. Either you leave Liverpool for €60m or €70m and I win the bet or you die there’. It’s the first time that I’ve had such a conversation with a player. I saw that he was calm, changed, different with respect to at Milan. Very disappointed in himself too.”
“He is going through times he’s never had before. Before everybody wanted him to do well. He had space. At Liverpool, no: either you do as we say or you stay out [of the team]. Then he was out injured for eight weeks. He lost rhythm.”
Mino Raiola also explained Mario Balotelli’s decision to move back to Italy from Manchester City while admitting that in retrospect, the decision turned out to be a wrong one for the Italian.
“Of all the champions I have represented I have never met one who has been forced to go through the injustices Mario has gone through. People don’t know him. The truth is that Mario is an insecure kid and in his insecurity perhaps he sometimes does silly things. I have always wanted to satisfy my players. With others I have gone with my own mind but with him no. ‘I need my mum, my friends, Italy,’ he said. Being a dad and wanting to make him happy I brought him back to Italy from City. It was one of the biggest mistakes of my career.”
“I should have said to him: ‘You’re not going back to Italy. City are a great club. They’ll never let you down. This is the football that counts [one of the best leagues in the world] and you want to leave it’. I’m convinced I was wrong for another reason too: Milan needed a leader. Give the ball to Mario, he scores and everyone is happy. But he is not a leader and it was wrong to ask him to be one. There are great players who aren’t leaders, and other not-so-great players who are.”
With Mario Balotelli set to stay put at Liverpool and fight for his place at Anfield, it will be interesting to see how Brendan Rodgers reacts to his controversial summer signing. Despite being fit, the Italian hasn’t been a part of Rodgers’ plan at Liverpool recently and it remains to be seen if Mario Balotelli can indeed turn things around at Anfield.