11 Aug 2016

Liverpool Update: Boss confirms he wants to sign 'incredible' €20m striker; admits transfer 'negotiation' is 'difficult'

The Mario Balotelli saga continues! With only a few weeks left of the current transfer window, Liverpool are still trying to offload the £90k-a-week striker, and although Chievo are confirmed admirers of Balotelli, it looks increasingly like a deal is off the table.

On Tuesday, Italian newspaper Corriere Della Serra claimed:

* Chievo are interested in signing Balotelli, and the Serie A club has made an offer via his agent, Mino Raiola.

* Balotelli has accepted Chievo's offer to sign for the club, but the deal is dependent on Liverpool subsidising his wages.

Chievo president Luca Campedelli has already confirmed that his 'dream' is to sign Balotelli this summer, but the club's director of sport, Luca Nember, has now poured cold water on the possibility of a transfer:

"We would like Balotelli, but he's...too expensive. They [Liverpool] paid €20m, but...if they want to give him to us as a gift, then that's another matter. It is a very difficult negotiation".

It looks increasingly like the only option this summer is to send Balotelli on loan with Liverpool heavily subsidising his wages. Clearly, this is preferable to paying Balotelli £90k-a-week to skulk around the club with nothing to do.

On a related note: Klopp's main job is to utilise playing assets in a way that increases the club's chances of winning games. As such, if Balotelli stays, Klopp has (IMO) a duty to at least try and get something out of Balotelli, and that means allowing him to train with the first-team, and giving him a chance to play (*if* he proves himself in training).

Banishing Balotelli to train with young players and/or failing to treat him the same as other players is (arguably) totally unfair *unless* there's a valid reason (behaviour, lack of effort, disinterest etc).

Balotelli's behaviour at Liverpool has, for the most part, been exemplary; yes, he has underperformed (both at Anfield and on loan), but that is no reason to marginalise an expensive player who's costing the club almost £5m a year.

Give Balotelli a chance. If he blows it, fine, but he should be given an opportunity to prove himself under Klopp.

* Jul 2016: Described as an 'incredible talent' by Crotone president Raffaele Vrenna.


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