Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation

Italian volunteered at the centre during his time at Manchester City

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The Independent Football

Staff at Manchester Dogs' Home are convinced that Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is the man behind an anonymous five-figure donation.

The home was hit by an arson attack last week killing 50 dogs and staff believe Balotelli, who volunteered at the home during his time at Manchester City, has offered money to rebuild.

The 24-year-old Italian volunteered at the charity during his time at Manchester City, offering his time to walk abandoned dogs, staff revealed to the Daily Mirror.

An anonymous five-figure donation was made to the Manchester Evening News' JustGiving page, part of more than £1m of contributions.

"Mario owns a dog but it was in quarantine in Italy so he used to come and walk all the dogs at the dogs’ home," said Jane Smith, a spokeswoman for the home.

"We can’t yet confirm whether he made a donation but he is known as a big dog lover so it would make sense."

The £16m striker is known for elaborate stories - he was once said to have given a homeless man £1,000, confronted a bully at a school and believed to have visited a woman's prison.