Liverpool transfer news and rumours: Mario Balotelli's agent speaks as Brendan Rodgers swoops for German duo

The latest gossip and deals surrounding Anfield

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The Independent Football

Why always him?

We start with the latest on Mario Balotelli, whose agent has opened up in a frank interview with Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport.

Mino Raiola insisted that the forward had no desire to move before the window shuts on Monday - but said Balotelli is "very disappointed" with how his career has begun at Liverpool.

Raiola said: "The plan is to continue at Anfield. I saw him Monday and told him: 'You have a 4 year contract and I won't bring you away. Either you leave Liverpool at €60-70 million, and I won my bet, or you'll die there'.

"It's the first time I make a speech like that to a player. I've seen him quiet, changed, different than Milan.

"Very disappointed with himself, too. He's going through a bad time like he never had. In Liverpool he hasn't his spaces: if you don't make things as they want, you stay out. Then he was broken for eight weeks, he lost the rhythm."

Possible new striker

Keeping their options up front open, Liverpool are reported to be looking at a £14m deal to bring in the PSG forward Ezequiel Lavezzi.

The Argentine has scored only two goals this season in 15 appearances (8 starts), and the 29-year-old is reported to be unhappy with the chances he is getting.

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£14m-rated Ezequiel Lavezzi is reportedly unhappy in France

Metro

reported that Brendan Rogers doesn't trust his other backup options for when Daniel Sturridge isn't fit, with Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert failing to perform.

German double

According to the Liverpool Echo, Brendan Rodgers is planning a raid on the midfield of Bundesliga side Hannover.

German media reports suggest that with Steven Gerrard heading to LA in the summer, Liverpool will look to acquire Lars Stindl, 26, and Leonardo Bittencourt, 21.

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Leonardo Bittencourt of Germany in action during the international friendly match between U21 Czech Republic and U21 Germany on November 18, 2014

The latter has been a regular in Germany's youth setup, and the winger could be bought for as little as £6m. Stindl is one of the first names on the Hannover team sheet but his contract has less than 18 months to run and would be available on the cheap in the summer.

The 'next Sergio Busquets'

Liverpool are reported to have joined Juventus, PSG and Real Madrid in the chase for "the next Sergio Busquets", Ruben Neves.

Though he's actually Portuguese not Spanish, the 17-year-old Porto wonderkid has just the right combination of style and aggression to emulate the Barcelona midfielder, according to Cristian Tello - who has played alongside both.

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Ruben Neves, pictured during the U21 match between England and Portugal at Turf Moor on 13 November, 2014

The Daily Express reported Liverpool are poised to beat a host of top European clubs to Neves' signature - and could even be willing to meet a £29m release clause to do so.

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