Football

Mario Balotelli left out of Liverpool squad as exit approaches

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Mario Balotelli may never play for Liverpool again after Brendan Rodgers sent the clearest message yet that his Anfield career is over, according to The Mirror.

A strong squad will travel to Finland to take on HJK Helsinki in Liverpool's final pre-season game while a reserve team will take on Swindon. Balotelli was not expected fly to Scandinavia, but he has also, rather shockingly, been left out of the low-key game back in England.

It an indication that the Italy international will leave Merseyside this summer, just 12 months after arriving in a £16million deal from AC Milan.

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Lazio, Fiorentina, Bologna and Galatasaray are the four clubs currently considering an offer while Serie C club Lupa Castelli also declared their intention to offer him the chance to return to his homeland.

Sampdoria are also interested in signing the controversial striker but have already ruled out meeting Liverpool's £7m asking price. Even if Rodgers manages to generate that amount, it will still represent a significant loss on his original outlay.

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Seventh choice

It seems the Rome-based Lazio are the current favourites to sign him, however, as the same report claims they are already in talks with the player's agent Mino Raiola. A move to Lazio, where fans can be less forgiving than they are at Anfield, might whip the striker into shape.

Rodgers has already signed Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings this summer and the manager has made it clear to Balotelli that his summer recruitment has moved him down to seventh in the pecking order. Even young bucklings Jerome Sinclair and Sheyi Ojo are ahead.

Worst signing ever

It is widely believed that Balotelli was signed after a decision by Liverpool's transfer committee was made and that Rodgers was firmly against the decision. Having scored just one Premier League goal all season, the former Swansea boss has certainly been vindicated.

As AC MIlan and Manchester City have found out before them, Balotelli's lack of professionalism has prevented him from reaching what looked to be enormous potential. He will leave as possibly Liverpool's worst signing of all time.

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Topics:
Transfer News
Liverpool
Premier League
Mario Balotelli
Football

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