Mario Balotelli’s outspoken agent Mino Raiola claims his client could have a future with Liverpool, Sky Sports report.
The Italian, who arrived for £16m in summer 2014, totally flopped under Brendan Rodgers, who chose to send the former Inter Milan and Manchester City forward to AC Milan on loan for this campaign.
Rodgers lost his job within months of that decision (not that it was the wrong one), meaning his replacement Jurgen Klopp has yet to meet the forward or his representative.
“Theoretically and by law, yes. He’s owned by Liverpool so at the end of the season he should go back to Liverpool,” Raiola answered when questioned whether Balotelli could return to Liverpool and play.
“For sure,” he continued, when asked if he’d speak to Klopp. “That is part of my job, to speak to all the managers. I know Klopp from [representing] Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Dortmund.
“If we talk about the quality and the talent Mario has, that is without question.
“Then you also need a manager that believes in you and gives you the chance to prove yourself. We will talk to him when it is time to talk to him.
“Whether Klopp has a plan for him or not – I don’t know, I haven’t spoken to him about this or to Liverpool,” Raiola said.
“I think it is too soon. Obviously if Mario does what he has to do, there is maybe another view on him also.
“He had to go away because with Brendan [Rodgers] there was no possibility to develop any more. There was a preconception towards Mario and I think from his private part of life he has proven them wrong.
“But we have to be realistic. He didn’t perform well in 2015 and 2016 needs to be his year. That is his challenge.”
Raiola’s not actually saying anything particularly interesting or inspiring here.
Frankly, there’s no way Klopp will take Balotelli back. The striker suits his footballing philosophy even less than he suited Rodgers’. Christian Benteke is currently struggling to adapt to the rigours and work-rate required, meaning Balotelli doesn’t have a hope in hell.
The best Liverpool fans can hope for is that the forward gets fit during the second half of his loan spell in Italy, plays well, and maximises his potential sell-on value.