Liverpool want Mario Balotelli on loan

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is ready to turn his attention to AC Milan forward and Arsenal target Mario Balotelli as his search for a new striker continues.

Reports in Italian publication Sport MediaSet claim Rodgers wants to sign the striker on a season-long loan deal with an agreement to buy Balotelli for €22m next summer. AC Milan are looking for €25m but Liverpool have opened negotiations at €22m.

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Loan deal with permanent option

It's a similar structure to Liverpool's reported interest in Monaco forward Radamel Falcao. But Balotelli would be the cheaper option - both in terms of fee and wages. Balotelli will demand around €6m-a-year to return to the Premier League, which works out at around £115,000 a week.

AC Milan could be willing to let the Italian international leave, as new boss Filippo Inzaghi wants to bring in Alessio Cerci from Torino before the transfer deadline. But Adriano Galliani has told Inzaghi he must sell before he can buy.

It may be a coincidence but Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola is set for talks with his client and AC Milan this week to discuss his options.

Rodgers has been linked with some of Europe's biggest strikers following the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona earlier this summer. But there hasn't been much progress so far, with moves for Falcao and Edinson Cavani reportedly wide of the mark.

Arsenal interest genuine?

Arsenal have also been linked with Balotelli, with Arsene Wenger reportedly in Brazil to watch the forward at the World Cup. The Gunners are still in the market for another forward, as Wenger has just Yaya Sanogo and Olivier Giroud as recognised central strikers.

Rodgers meanwhile has admitted that he wants to make at least one 'top level' addition before September 2nd. It's almost certainly the case that Liverpool are targeting another forward, as Daniel Sturridge's only competition at present is £4m summer recruit Rickie Lambert.

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Mario Balotelli
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