Reports have surfaced over the course of the day that Liverpool have agreed a £16m fee with AC Milan for their 24 year-old striker Mario Balotelli.
The Daily Mail claims the temperamental Italy international has been offered a £90,000 per week deal. Nice work if you can get it. I just hope he gets his 25 days’ holiday and company pension thrown in as well. Maybe even a company car if the tax allows.
Should the deal go through, two questions come to mind. The first: Is Balotelli a suitable replacement for a Uruguayan who’s name escapes me? Personally I’d say “Yes”. There’s no doubt the (potentially) soon to be ex-AC Milan Striker is nowhere near as prolific as the Uruguayan. However, although he doesn’t score as many goals, he does score important goals. A good characteristic for a team wishing to claim the Premiership Title for the first time in 26 years, and for this, I think he’s worth the money – especially when you consider the £25m Liverpool reportedly paid for Adam Lallana.
And secondly: Will the boy knuckle down and behave himself? If there’s any possibility of that, then I believe Brendan Rodgers is the man to do it. He’s shown with Luis Suarez (yes, that’s him!) that he can develop a personal relationship with his players that breeds trust and confidence, probably two of the most important ingredients in man management. I’d even go so far as to say he’ll do a better job than the former Manchester City Manager and Balotelli’s last English Boss, Roberto Mancini. “That’s not hard” you say? Well you’re probably right but it’s still an important point.
Balotelli is quoted as saying “This is my last day at Milanello”. So one could be forgiven for thinking the deal is done subject to a medical. Hopefully he’ll do better than Loic Remy and this deal will be completed. Also, hopefully, his registration will go better than Alberto Moreno’s and he’ll be eligible to face his old employers come Monday night when Liverpool travel to the Etihad Stadium for their next game.
All things considered, I’m happier now than I was this time last week when Liverpool only had Daniel Sturridge as a proper striker other than Rickie Lambert, who even David Blaine couldn’t make us believe was a replacement for Suarez. Roll on Monday. This season ahead looks just that little bit better.
Follow me on Twitter: @Mrbengreen
Liverpool legend Alan Hansen Answered some questions on Twitter this afternoon.
Andrew Larkin @kloppsbeard
@footballpools do you still believe you won’t win anything with kids? #askhansen
It’s a fact. Even the Man Utd boys say the experienced players helped them through the season. Managers always pick experience over youth. High-level experience in the game is everything.
@footballpools @empireofthekop Are we signing Falcao? #AskHansen
Not a clue.
J. Greenspan @JGreenspanLFC
@footballpools What are your predictions for the Liverpool’s 2014/2015 campaign? #AskHansen
I think Liverpool will finish top Four and make champions league but there is no doubt Saurez is irreplaceable
@footballpools @empireofthekop #AskHansen we’ve got a young squad this year do you still believe that you’ll never win anything with kids
Forget about experience or kids –you can’t replace Suarez’ talent.
Elaine O’Donnell @laney16ell
@footballpools how are finding retirement? Are you bored yet?
Fakoyejo Abbey @Abbeybony
#AskHansen who do U think @LFC should go for? Falcao? Cavani? Eto’o?
I don’t care as long as he scores 30 premier league goals a season.
sean south @SouthRaineyj66
@footballpools @empireofthekop Alan , you’re a pool legend…do u see the glory days at Anfield ever returning ? Please say yes lol .
It will be hard to get where to where LFC were in the 70s and 80s everyone is hoping the current regime will keep improving. It’s been too long since we won the league.
Matt Corkish @NYCMattC
@footballpools @empireofthekop #askhansen what was your call when it was your ball?
I’d say yours Lawro or yours Tommo.
@MikeMurrie @footballpools #askhansen will you marry me?
Ha, ha, ha.
@FootballPools Who was the best defender you ever played against? #AskHansen
The best defender I’ve ever seen was Bobby Moore. I saw him play in 1968 and marvelled at how easy the game was for him.
@footballpools Who would you rather be stuck in a lift with for 24 hours and why? @GaryLineker, @AlanShearerFndn or Lawro #AskHansen
Ha, ha none of them!
@footballpools #AskHansen If you had a 5-a-side team, who would you have as your teammates? (Past & present players)
Past team: Souness, Dalglish Pele and Maradona – you wouldn’t need a keeper with that side.
Present team: Neuer, Messi, Suarez, Bale, Ronaldo.
Christian Dente @christiandente
What so do you make of LFC’s apparent Balotelli transfer? Is it positive? @footballpools #AskHansen
He’s a hit and miss player – massive talent, but with every hit and miss player it’s usually a miss.
Emma Lister @Em_24
@footballpools do you think Liverpool are stronger without Suarez? Will they miss him this season? #AskHansen
No can’t possibly be stronger. LFC will 100% miss him.
Franco J Pardini @francojpardini
@AberfieldPR @footballpools #AskHansen Does he think Super Mario is a good signing for Liverpool?
Ability-wise: unquestioned. Temperament: volatile.
Aberfield PR @AberfieldPR
Do you think Moyes should have been given more time? Or is van Gaal the right man for the job? @footballpools #AskHansen
Moyes should have been given more time! He’s the right man if he signs four defenders that can play alongside each other.
Becks Armstrong @BecksArmstrong
#AskHansen Would you have kept Suarez? Thanks @footballpools
I would have kept him, yeah.
Becks Armstrong @BecksArmstrong
And one more…#AskHansen Who’s going to win the league? @footballpools
Manchester City – strongest squad of players, been there seen it done it. Chelsea have two areas of concern – CF Costa great at start, average. Centre back JT, if they lose him at any stage they’re in trouble.
Jonathon Richter @JRichterLFC
@footballpools Sakho and Lovren or Skrtel and Lovren? #AskHansen
Skrtel and Lovren One plays right one plays left which is always a better combination.
In your opinion, how hard is it for a LCB to switch to play RCB?
Extremely difficult, I did it in 89 and it is totally unknown territory
@footballpools Who are you top 3 Liverpool centre backs of the past 15 years? #AskHansen
Carragher, Hyypia, Agger.
Mike P Willam @Mike_P_Williams
@footballpools Who, in your opinion, is be best centre back in the world right now? #AskHansen
David Luiz… No really, it’s @VincentKompany - he’s the best in the world right now.
@footballpools Would Balotelli be a good move for LFC or too much baggage? #AskHansen
Hopefully not, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Andrew Larkin @kloppsbeard ·
@footballpools do you believe that arsene wenger regrets not re signing cesc fabregas because I do #askhansen
Well Arsene says no. Man Utd should have signed him, LFC should have signed him. They all should have signed him!
Joseph Roche @joe_roche89 ·
@footballpools #AskHansen Will Scotland make it to France 2016?
Hopefully, Strachan has done an amazing job, but the lack of real quality might cost them.
Saif @saifurv ·
@footballpools how much of a say do u think Brendan has on the Balotelli signing? Given his comment during pre-season tour #AskHansen
For the whole thing to work, Brendan must have a 100% say on the transfer.
Sam Quayle @Samquayle ·
Who’s the best player in the current Scotland squad? #askhansen
The best player, if he’s still fit, is Darren Fletcher. Very underrated.
Saif @saifurv ·
@footballpools If asked, would you consider coming back to LFC joining the coaching team? #AskHansen
Never. I’d never want to be a coach or a manager.
anto @antomc1 ·
#AskHansen Where do u think Liverpool will finish this season?
I’m just hoping they’d finish top four. They’d push for third.
Z @Zoe__A ·
How do you reckon we’ll get on in the champions league this season? #AskHansen @footballpools
It’s important for LFC to do well in the Champions League. The comp, naturally gives everyone a massive lift. But not being involved in the competition for a few years could be a problem.
Mekaheel @MekaheelGbaja 1h
@footballpools @empireofthekop do you think Dejan Lovren is right the right man to stop lfc’s defensive problems #AskHansen
He’s made a good start, but still far too early to say.
By Magnus Löfgren
I have read several comments and felt that I needed to say this:
REUS is just a wet Dream for fans, yes he can replace GERRARD when he quits and yes he will score goals to, but we wont spend that much.
So if BR, or anyone in the staff reads these comments, lets give them some real targets to aim for, please!
Here are my suggestions:
Jonathan Soriano 28 year old forward who plays with FC Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, he is scoring a lot at the moment.
Stefan Kiessling is another forward (30 year) who plays with Bayer Leverkusen and scores a lot right now, he scored 6 goals in the last game…
Cavani and Bony are great, but not Falcao please he cost a lot of money and is injurieproned.
If we want to spend that much, then go for REUS, or DI Maria.
Shurrle 23 year old forward who plays with Chelsea scored last night, so think about him to, he is young and scores…
I belive in our team and feel proud that we made our team bigger, we need that with many Champions League games comming up.
Just get a goalscorer if Sturridge, or Sterling cant play…
Best of luck LFC even though you don’t need it, our team are great and just need to avoid injuries.
Have fun LFC and then you have won no matter what.