It's been common knowledge for a while now that Mario Balotelli has no future at Liverpool.
One Premier League goal during his debut season followed by an equally underwhelming term on loan at AC Milan has all but ended his short-lived career on Merseyside.
Reports suggested Jurgen Klopp was willing to give Balotelli a chance upon his return to Liverpool but that doesn't appear to be the case judging by his latest comments.
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Indeed, the German manager has effectively put the final nail in the striker's coffin.
According to the Mirror, he said: "With a lot of players it is not the moment to talk of transfers as it could kill all talks by saying someone was 70 per cent to sign him or whatever.
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“But I can talk of Mario because that one is obvious and I have spoken to him about this.
"He’s not at the stage of his career where he should be battling with four or five other players for one or two positions."
However, in a somewhat odd statement, Klopp claimed that Balotelli has been "world class" in Liverpool training.
"We want him to become the player he was before his injury," he added.
"The talent is still there, there's no doubt about it. When we have done the crossing, heading and stuff in training, he has been world class.
"But this is not a situation where he should be battling with other players like this for one position, so it’s clear we need a solution."
Quite who would want Balotelli remains to be seen, but don't for one second think that his ego has taken a hit by this latest setback.
No, because in the 25-year-old's eyes, he still has time to win the Ballon d'Or.
He said, according to Sky Sports: "In my view, there weren't enough [expectations put on me], as I can do so much more than what I said. But it takes time.
"On the scale of 0 to 10, I stopped at five, but I'll get to 10 eventually. I want to get there. I will win the Ballon d'Or.
"I do realise that I've spent two years of my career when I could've been getting closer to 10 and instead stayed at five.
"I know, the Ballon d'Or might seem laughable and I might not have done everything to be the best, but the important thing is I realised it's not too late."
In your dreams, Mario.
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