Mario Balotelli tells Brendan Rodgers he wants to stay at Anfield

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Balotelli staying with the Reds…

Manager Brendan Rodgers has assured Liverpool supporters that Mario Balotelli will not be going anywhere this January, because the maverick Italian wants to stay, reports the Guardian.

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“He does want to stay, I think that is the case with him,” Rodgers said.

“He does care about doing well for Liverpool and wants to do well but it just hasn’t gone as he would have wanted. This is a club where you will get every opportunity to shine. This is a group that is very close-knit, the spirit is strong and you can work your way into that by working hard and you will get your rewards. We’ve seen that over the last two and a half years with other players.”

“Yes. There is a lot of speculation about Mario but in January he is a player we want to still have here. We want as many good players as we can between now and the end of the season. He is not one we want to move.”

With Daniel Sturridge injured, it was thought that Balotelli would practically be an automatic starter, but since he returned from his own injury in mid-December, he hasn’t been given a single start, and has played just 41 minutes of football in all competitions.

Due to his relative immobility up top (he prefers to stay central rather than work the flanks), Balotelli will likely remain on the bench for the trip to Aston Villa today – with countryman Fabio Borini expected to continue in the top three.

Neither Borini or Balotelli has notched a Premier League goal this season, and with Sturridge closing on a return, they may not have too many more chances to do so.

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