Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: AC Milan striker on verge of £16m Premier League return after saying 'goodbyes'

The maverick Italy international looks set for a return to the Premier League

Liverpool are on the verge of completing a £16m deal for Mario Balotelli.

Amid widespread reports that the Reds are in talks with AC Milan over the striker's transfer, Sky Italia have quoted the Italy international as saying: "This is my last day at Milan".

A statement released on AC Milan's websites appear to have confirmed the news.

"Mario Balotelli left Milanello's sporting centre at 13:30 local time, after saying goodbye to his team-mates," it read.

"Before leaving the premises, the striker has said goodbye to members of Milan's press office."

Only yesterday, the Serie A club denied reports that the Anfield club had lodged a bid for the Italy international.

However, the situation has changed quickly. As Brendan Rodgers looks to boost his attacking options following the departure of Luis Suarez, the Merseyside club are understood to be offering £16m for the striker.

It's also claimed that Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola is already in England to discuss personal terms.

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Yesterday, AC Milan club administrator Adriano Galliani said to Gazzetta dello Sport. "At this time we have not received any offer from Liverpool for Balotelli. Hence, there is no negotiation."

Video: The latest transfer news

The striker has been linked with a move away from the San Siro all summer, with Arsenal in particular regularly mooted as a possible destination. Whilst AC Mian denied receiving a bid from Liverpool, the possibility of a deal was not completely discounted by Galliani.

"We will see as the transfer market ends on September 1," he said.

Brendan Rodgers got a good look at Mario Balotelli during Liverpool's win over AC Milan during pre-season Brendan Rodgers got a good look at Mario Balotelli during Liverpool's win over AC Milan during pre-season

Balotelli spent three seasons at Manchester City before returning to Italy, helping to deliver the FA Cup and Premier League title in a spell that saw him score 30 goals in 80 appearances.

Whilst the 24-year-old harbours undeniable talents, they have often been overshadowed by his on and off pitch antics.

 

Balotelli has emerged as a target for Liverpool amid frustrations in their pursuit other options. Radamel Falcao, Samuel Eto'o and Edinson Cavani have also been linked with a switch to Anfield.

Liverpool play Manchester City on Monday. Liverpool will have to register Balotelli before midday on Friday if he is to be eligible to play against his former side.

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