ROME: Mario Balotelli is on the brink of a shock move to Liverpool, reported media in England and Italy on Thursday, two weeks after Reds boss Brendan Rodgers ruled out a bid for the controversial striker.
According to sports channel Sky Italia, AC Milan have agreed to let the 24-year-old move to Anfield and a transfer worth €20 million is being wrapped up.
A Milan spokesman said he could not confirm any talks.
The reported move is being seen as a sign of Liverpool’s frustration at being unable to land a top quality replacement for Luis Suarez following the Uruguayan’s World Cup biting disgrace and subsequent departure for Barcelona.
During Liverpool’s tour of the US earlier this month, Rodgers had appeared to close the door on a move for Balotelli, saying, “I can categorically tell you that he will not be coming to Liverpool.”
The striker’s three years (2010-13) with Manchester City were overshadowed by his off-pitch antics, which included car crashes, setting fireworks off in his bathroom and an incident in which he threw a dart at a youth-team player.
He was regularly at loggerheads with then City boss Roberto Mancini and clashed with some teammates while producing only intermittent flashes of his undoubted star quality.
Rodgers may feel he can do a better job of managing the striker, given the praise he received for the way he handled another ‘awkward’ character in Suarez.
Balotelli scored 16 goals for Milan last season, as well as the winner in Italy’s World Cup opener against England in Manaus.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2014.
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