Brendan Rodgers: Mario Balotelli will not be going anywhere in this transfer window

The £16m has yet to open his Premier League account for Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers has insisted that Mario Balotelli will not be going anywhere in this month's transfer market.

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The Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini has warned Balotelli that he risks throwing his career away, having failed to deliver on Merseyside. "I hope that he wakes up one morning and realises that he is wasting everything," he said.

But Rodgers - who today refused to put a timeframe on Daniel Sturridge's return to action - insisted that the £16m striker will not be jettisoned this month and could still have an Anfield career. Rodgers said: "He has come in here and has not scored the goals he wanted but he is not going anywhere in January."

The news on Sturridge was less than overwhelming, as Liverpool try to find the right way of rehabilitating the player who has suffered nine injuries to the same thigh during his ten-year first class career. Rodgers, whose side travel to Aston Villa on Saturday, said: "Time will tell. We just want him fit. There is no timeline on that. He is in the final stages of his rehab but there's no time frame. He is back and working well though obviously not ready to play yet. Hopefully in the near future he will be."


Rogers did say that Raheem Sterling was back in the squad after the holiday the manager had allowed him and was "refreshed and ready to work." Glen Johnson has been back training and may be a contender for Saturday's game. The manager is also assessing the fitness of Steven Gerrard and Adam Lallana.

Rodgers agreed that the return of players made him the most confident he has been yet, of building something from this season. "I've seen it on the training field that confidence of the players. We've had a difficult time but have used that to our advantage. I am confident in the way we are working."

Though Liverpool are also confident of bringing forward the signing of young Belgian striker Divock Origi - whom they had not planned to take from Lille until next summer having bought him for £10m - Rodgers was circumspect on that issue. He said: "He is a player that will definitely be here next summer but whether he will be here in January has been discussion but nothing more to report on it."