Brendan Rodgers has made it crystal clear since leaving Liverpool in 2015 that it wasn’t his decision to sign Mario Balotelli.
The Northern Irish coach wanted Alexis Sanchez following Luis Suarez’s move to Barcelona but the Chilean decided to join Arsenal instead.
When the option to sign Balotelli came up towards the end of the 2014 summer transfer window, Liverpool’s owners decided to add the controversial Italian striker to Rodgers’ squad and the rest is history.
Balotelli was an unmitigated disaster at Anfield, scoring one goal in 16 Premier League appearances following his surprise £16 million move from AC Milan.
His bad attitude contributed towards his poor performances and Rodgers couldn’t wait to offload him back to Milan at the end of the 2014-15 campaign.
Rodgers: Balotelli cost us
“We had to bring in someone,” Rodgers was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail in January 2016. “Obviously Mario has got big talent. So could it be the case where… I wasn't thinking I was going to be different to all the other managers he has had issues with. There was none of that at all. It was at the moment in time, we didn't really have another option.
“So what do you do? Do you go with one striker? Or do you bring him in and see if it can work? That was something that didn't quite work for us. And it cost us.”
Balotelli on his relationship with Rodgers
Eleven months after those comments and Balotelli revealed his relationship with Rodgers had been a “disaster”.
He also said the current Celtic boss is the worst manager he’s played under.
It’s fair to assume they’re not on each other’s Christmas card lists.
Watch: Rodgers' dig at Balotelli
Rodgers then took another dig at Balotelli over the weekend at Celtic’s Player of the Season awards.
Asked to name the best player he’s ever coached, Rodgers replied with a sarcastic: "Mario Balotelli... he was a fantastic player."
Balotelli has responded on Twitter
Balotelli may well have seen the footage because the Nice striker has now issued a response on Twitter.
He tweeted on Wednesday afternoon: “Brendan Rodgers you are also the best manager I ever had😂😘😘. Amazing.”
Needless to say, his amusing response has gone down very well on Twitter…
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