13 Jul 2016

Anfield Update: Klopp confirms he's 'spoken' with 'incredible' £90k-a-week attacker about Liverpool transfer exit

It couldn't be any clearer: Mario Balotelli is persona non grata at Liverpool, and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has now emphatically confirmed that the Italian striker does feature in his plans for the upcoming season.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo today, Klopp talked up Balotelli's 'world-class' crossing and heading ability in training, but insisted that he needs to find another club:

"It’s clear we need a solution. There will be a club around who would be happy to have a new Mario Balotelli. I have spoken clearly to [Balotelli] about that. It will not be a situation for Mario. It’s now time to make decisions".

Balotelli won't be short of suitors if he leaves this summer, with at least two clubs confirming their interest this month.

Last Tuesday, Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero told Corriere dello Sport:

"He [Balotelli] could relaunch at a passionate club like ours. I've tried to tell him to come to Samp because he's a great talent."

A day later, Crotone's president Raffaele Vrenna revealed:

"I called his agent. We could be the right place to relaunch an incredible talent like Balotelli."

Klopp may want Balotelli out, but the reality is he doesn't have to leave. If he so desires, Balotelli can sit out the next two years of his £90k-a-week contract and there's not a darn thing Liverpool can do about it.

On a related note: it's arguably unprofessional for Klopp to publicly throw Balotelli under the bus like this. I don't see any pressing need for him to say anything at all on the subject.

It's clearly an attempt to force Balotelli to quit the club (by piling on the pressure, and making his position untenable). It may work in the end, and getting Balotelli off the books is a good thing, but the tactics are questionable.


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