The social media sphere is in overdrive with reports flooding in that AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli is about to be announced as a Liverpool player, in a dramatic u-turn by the English club.
It appears the pressure on Brendan Rodgers to replenish the world-class striker stocks has finally told following the departure of banned biter Luis Suarez.
As Liverpool toured the United States in pre-season the Northern Irishman categorically stated that although he admired Balotelli as a player, he would not be joining the club.
A controversial figure throughout his career, the move for ‘Super Mario’ does raise certain question marks as Liverpool are clearly looking to repair any perceived damage to their reputation after two seasons being blighted by Suarez’s ugly misdemeanours.
However, although the Italy international was constantly at loggerheads with Roberto Mancini at Manchester City, his off-field antics have been tempered since his return to Serie A.
He’s generally thought of as daft rather than malicious, although his on-field temperament is probably the biggest concern for Rodgers and Reds fans alike.
Only last season Balotelli was forced to miss three matches after firing off some pretty unsavoury comments the way of match officials during Milan’s league fixture with Napoli.
Mario Balotelli was involved in a training ground bust-up with Man City manager Roberto Mancini. (3rd January, 2013) pic.twitter.com/afsPd5zgCv
— Football Memories (@Footy__Memories) August 21, 2014
Then, even as recently as the World Cup, the Azzurri’s number nine managed to fall out with coach Cesare Prandelli after being substituted at half-time during Italy’s last Group D match against Uruguay.
Still, from a purely playing perspective Liverpool’s decision is very understandable as the firebrand forward is as good as any in the world on his day and has proved himself in the Premier League at Manchester City.
Ironically, if the paperwork can be completed in time Balotelli could debut against his former club, where Liverpool are deemed the 16/5 outsiders for an Etihad win.
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