Eccentric Mario Balotelli Set To Join Liverpool. Is He What Liverpool Needs?

Can Mario Balotelli replace the void left by Luis Suarez?

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[OFFICIAL] Super Mario Signs For Liverpool In A RM84 Million Deal

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Mario Balotelli has admitted he is "very happy" to be at Liverpool after sealing his £16million move. The fiery Italian has returned to the Premier League from AC Milan, penning a three-year contract at Anfield.

Talks between the Reds and their Italian counterparts accelerated this week as Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, flew to England on Wednesday. After a permanent deal was agreed between the two clubs, the Italy striker himself flew in to complete a medical and put pen to paper on a long-term deal at Anfield.

Balotelli will wear the No.45 shirt - the same number he wore at Manchester City - but the deal was not completed in time to face his former club this evening. Nevertheless he admits he is delighted to complete the switch and return to the Premier League.

He told Liverpool's official website: "I'm very happy. We've been talking about coming here and now I'm happy to be here. "Liverpool are one of the best teams here in England and the football is very good here. "Now that I play for Liverpool, I can see the expectation in people. They're very happy and that makes me very happy at the same time.

Liverpool Are Close To Securing A 16 Million Pound Deal To Secure Mario Balotelli From AC Milan

A mock up image of what Mario Balotelli could look like in a Liverpool jersey.

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Liverpool are close to a £16m deal with Milan to sign Mario Balotelli having performed a major U-turn on the merits of bringing the problematic striker back to English football.

Balotelli has been offered £90,000-a-week to move to Anfield and the transfer is nearly complete after a 'positive' first meeting on Thursday evening. The player's representatives will meet with Reds executives on Friday morning to thrash out a deal.

The Italian Striker Has Reportedly Said His Goodbyes To His Teammates And Staff Ahead Of His Move To Liverpool

The striker has said his goodbyes to his teammates ahead of his switch.

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Balotelli trained with Milan on Thursday but the striker’s agent, Mino Raiola, is in England for further talks with Liverpool. "Mario Balotelli left Milanello's sporting centre at 13:30 (local time) after saying goodbye to his team-mates," read a statement from Milan on Thursday afternoon. "Before leaving the premises, the striker has said goodbye to members of Milan's press office."

Balotelli earlier told Sky Italia: 'This will be my last day at Milanello.'
Later, he left Milanello training complex in a red Ferrari. He had lunch after training and stopped to tell reporters: 'Nothing is decided yet nothing is black and white.'

Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers Had Previously Denied Any Interest In Signing The Volatile Striker

Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers Had Previously Denied Any Interest In Signing The Volatile Striker

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Brendan Rodgers had said Liverpool would categorically not be signing the errant Italy striker last month, but has had a change of heart.

It was only last month that Rodgers stated “categorically” he had no interest in having Balotelli at Liverpool, having strived to foster a close-knit squad at Anfield and sign only players he believes will adhere to his ‘elite performance’ standards at Melwood.

However, There Were Complications Of Other Targeted Signings Made The Balotelli Deal Seem More Viable

Liverpool has previously declared interest in signing Loic Remy but the deal collapsed due to a failed medical.

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Rodgers suffered a blow when Alexis Sanchez spurned Liverpool’s advances. The manager believed the Chilean attacker would have been the perfect fit but he informed Liverpool that his wife would only agree to leave Spain for England if they were based in London so he accepted Arsenal’s rival offer.

The Liverpool manager maintained that stance as the new Premier League season started but with Loïc Rémy’s proposed arrival from Queens Park Rangers collapsing on medical grounds, a loan deal for Radamel Falcao proving costly and dependent on Real Madrid’s interest in the Colombia international, and free agent Samuel Eto’o one of the few remaining viable options, the club has been tempted to reconsider.

Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke also came under consideration before Liverpool made ambitious enquiries about the availability of stellar names such as Monaco’s Radamel Falcao, Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.

Brendan Rodgers Has Sought Assurances From Balotelli That He Would Abide To Rules And The Club's Code Of Conduct

Balotelli in a bust up fight with then Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini.

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Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, has sought assurances from Mario Balotelli that he will abide by the club’s code of conduct before pressing ahead with the £16 million signing of the Italian striker.

It is understood Rodgers and the Anfield hierarchy requested a series of clauses to reflect the professional conduct demanded of all Liverpool’s players, with Balotelli facing disciplinary measures if he falls out of line.

Mario Balotelli Has Been Involved In A Few Controversies Throughout His Career. Former Boss Jose Mourinho Has Once Labeled Mario "Unmanageable."

Among his controversies was to set off fireworks in a house.

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However, there is a reason why Balotelli was available at that price. He comes with baggage and plenty of it. Jose Mourinho once branded Balotelli “unmanageable” and others have tried and failed to tame the Palermo-born frontman. At Inter Milan, Mourinho banished him for a lack of effort in training, while he received the wrath of the club’s fans after wearing an AC Milan shirt on a TV show.

On the field, he was sent off for Manchester City against Arsenal in 2012 in a defeat that almost derailed their title charge. And off the pitch, there was the notorious incident when Balotelli set off fireworks in his house, leading to him revealing the famous 'Why Always Me?' T-shirt when he scored in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford in 2011.

Although Slightly Eccentric, Balotelli Is Undeniably Talented, Scoring 30 Goals In 54 Appearances For AC Milan And Could Face Manchester City If Signed On Time

Balotelli has scored 30 goals in 54 appearances.

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His spell back in the San Siro for AC Milan - he previously won the title and Champions League under Jose Mourinho at Inter - was typically erratic but his goal ratio was outstanding: 30 goals in his 54 appearances. If he matches that, Liverpool will have secured another top-class striker. In order to be eligible to face his old club, Balotelli will have to complete his move to Anfield by midday on Friday.

Now it’s Rodgers’ task to try to unlock Balotelli’s true potential. This is the talented coach who elevated Luis Suarez into the world class bracket, transformed the career of Daniel Sturridge and put Raheem Sterling on the road to stardom.

In other transfer news, Manchester United has signed Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo. Read about it HERE:

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