Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Reds set to confirm £16m deal for Italian tomorrow and end Samuel Eto'o interest
Reds closing in on Balotelli as Rodgers' men prepare for City test on Monday
Sunday 24 August 2014
Liverpool hope to announce the £16m signing of Italian forward Mario Balotelli from AC Milan on Monday - but the Reds have called off their interest in Samuel Eto'o.
Brendan Rodgers had previously rubbished reports linking the Merseysiders with Balotelli but the former Manchester City star was in England on Friday to undergo a medical.
Last season's Premier League runners-up have strengthened significantly this summer after losing Luis Suarez to Barcelona for £75m.
Contrary to reports Balotelli is not expected to agree to a 'code of conduct' clause in his contract and looks set to earn £90,000-a-week.
Read more: Comment: Balotelli is a risky move for Liverpool
Carragher on Balotelli
The best Memes surrounding switch to Liverpool
The 24-year-old striker, who was in Melwood this weekend, returned to Italy to say his goodbyes ahead of the switch.
The Italian will sign a three-year contract but won't be confirmed as a Liverpool player in time to play his former employers when the Reds visit the Etihad Stadium on Monday night.
Eto'o, on the other hand, now looks increasingly unlikely to sign for Rodgers' side and may attempt to salvage talks with West Ham United.
The two parties had discussed a possible free transfer for the former Barcelona forward, but Eto'o was holding out for a club in the Champions League.
Mario Balotelli endured a wide range of emotions during his last spell in English football Meanwhile, Balotelli’s representative Mino Raiola admits the enigmatic striker is now facing his last chance to forge a career at a leading club.
“Mario played well for six or seven months, giving a decisive push for them to enter the Champions League,” said Raiola.
“But then you could see he is not ready to be a leader. Will he ever be a leader? It’s not mandatory that every player has to be a leader.
“I sought out for him a team where he can be an important element without being asked to be a leader. Liverpool have Steven Gerrard. There Mario will be protected and can give his best.
“Now it’s up to him. Another flop is inadvisable... Not everyone is born to be a leader and a good striker is not always a leader either.
“Mario needs to get this pressure off his shoulders. He must feel free to score goals and that’s it.”
Latest in Sport
Phil Hughes injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener fights for his life
Phil Hughes: Batsman had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich comment: Frank Lampard's part in City win shows folly of letting him leave
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Schalke vs Chelsea: Roberto Di Matteo admits thrashing by former side was most painful defeat of his career
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict