Yesterday we reported that Liverpool could be in the running for Mario Balotelli. This morning we brought you the news that Liverpool were officially in talks with AC Milan for Mario Balotelli. Now, AC Milan have confirmed that Balotelli has left their training ground, possibly for good!
The exciting yet slightly eccentric Italian looks set to complete his Anfield move after the two clubs agreed a fee worth £16m (€20m) and the player’s infamous agent, Mino Raiola flew into London for contract negotiations.
The picture above has appeared on twitter as the Liverpool club shop begins printing Balotelli shirts with his usual number 45 on the back. At 24 years of age, Super Mario has an impressive trophy cabinet that includes 3 Serie A titles, a Premier League, a Champions League and an FA Cup as well as 3 others.
During his spell with José Mourinho’s Inter Milan he upset the boss with a number of arguments and shirt throwing incidents that led him to join Manchester City in August 2010 for around €22m. He netted 20 Premier League goals in 54 games but also picked up a number of red cards along the way. He will live in Manchester City history though because he provided the assist for Sergio Aguero’s famous title winning goal in 2012 (“AGUERROOOO” as you may remember it!).
Roberto Mancini’s attempts to tame the maverick ended in failure and saw him join his boyhood club AC Milan for €20m in January 2013. Since then he has scored 26 Serie A goals in 43 games but his time there seemed to be coming to an end as the once giants of world football continue to slid. It now appears his agent, renowned for making big moves happen, has agreed a deal for a Premier League return.
Mario Balotelli splits opinion on a regular basis with the likes of Alan Shearer slating him in Euro 2012, despite a performance that will live long in the memory to sink Germany in the Semi-Finals. He has scored 13 goals in 33 Azzurri caps and is loved by the vast amount of Italian fans. Liverpool supporters will have to withhold judgement till we see him doing what he does best again, scoring goals!
As Mario gets set to leave the San Siro for a second time (the first when he departed Inter), the question remains whether Balotelli can be trusted. He isn’t shy of controversy or a red card but Brendan Rodgers has got himself an incredibly talented individual for the price of 1 Shane Long + 1 Rickie Lambert. That isn’t bad business by my mind! The fee is also less than what Manchester City paid and the same as AC Milan paid for him, a risk very much worth taking. I cannot wait for see Super Mario back in the Premier League and he certainly is a character that adds unbelievable entertainment. Liverpool may have lost Luis Suarez but as replacements go, Mario Balotelli for £16m is a fantastic addition!
(Picture: Nik Postinger’s twitter)
By Gareth Thomas | August 21st, 2014