AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has rejected claims that Liverpool have made an approach to sign Mario Balotelli. He did, however, not rule out the striker’s departure before the transfer deadline.
Liverpool are in the market for a proven goalscorer following the departure of Luis Suarez, who joined Barcelona for £64 million, and there has been speculation that the club will attempt to recruit Balotelli to replace last season’s top scorer.
The Liverpool link initially surfaced before a pre-season encounter with Milan, when Brendan Rodgers expressed his admiration of Balotelli in a press conference during the lead up to the game at the Bank of America Stadium.
"Balotelli is a big talent," Rodgers said. "I saw that in this time at Inter Milan as a young player and obviously going to Manchester City when we had a real close eye on him there.
"He's got all the qualities. He's 6ft 3ins, he's quick, his touch is terrific and he can score goals. He went back to Italy to play and he's still so young.
"If his focus is right, his concentration is right and he leads the lifestyle of a top player then he can play for any team in the world."
These comments from the Liverpool manager resulted in the suggestion that the club had identified Balotelli as the ideal replacement for Suarez, although Rodgers moved to dismiss the assertion.
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However, there has been a renewed link. Sport Mediaset claim that Liverpool are considering submitting a formal the player, valued at €22 million, in their quest to land a centre-forward or repute.
But, says Galliani, there has been no approach from Liverpool - although plenty can change with only 12 days remaining of this summer transfer window.
“At this time we have not received any offer from Liverpool for Balotelli,” he said.
“Therefore, there is no negotiation. We will see as the transfer market ends on 1 September.”
Rodgers has confirmed that Liverpool are indeed still on the lookout for reinforcements in this area, although it remains to be seen if the club do mount a genuine pursuit of Balotelli as the transfer deadline nears.
Loic Remy had appeared the player set to plug the gap left by Suarez’s departure, although Liverpool pulled the plug on the proposed deal after the France international failed his medical examination.