Liverpool Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Mario Balotelli's Expected Deal

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 24, 2014

MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 26:  Mario Balotelli arrives at Malpensa Airport on June 26, 2014 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Mario Balotelli's proposed move to Liverpool will be completed on Monday but will not see the striker ready to line up against former club Manchester City that evening.

That's according to BBC Sport, reporting that the Milan striker flew into Merseyside for a medical on Friday and will return to conclude the transfer after the weekend.

PRESTON, LANCASHIRE - JULY 19:  Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers looks on during the pre season friendly match between Preston North End and Liverpool at Deepdale on July 19, 2014 in Preston, Lancashire.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool have moved swiftly in sealing the £16 million move, which will see Balotelli earn roughly £120,000 per week during his Merseyside stay.

The Azzurri forward regularly draws attention of the controversial variety, but Brendan Rodgers is quoted in the BBC report as stating that any doubts concerning attitude won't be an issue in this instance:

We have quite an extensive code of conduct for players and staff. There is no specific one for any one individual. This isn't like many clubs. Liverpool is a club that is a real strong family football club, with values and ethics that run over many years.

I, as the manager, will fight to protect that always, so no matter which players or professionals are at the club, they will abide by that. But we understand that sometimes you have to take a risk with people. And a lot of the time, if you take that risk you can get a reward for it.

In terms of risk, Balotelli is certainly the archetypal example of one that a manager could take in the current market, and it's alleged to have been reflected in his contract terms.

Despite Rodgers' claims of a blanket ruling on player conduct, The Telegraph's Chris Bascombe says that Balotelli will earn reduced wages at Anfield compared to previous salaries in Milan and Manchester.

Bascombe writes that while the 24-year-old earned £160,000 per week at the Etihad Stadium and San Siro, his wages are equivalent to £90,000 a week at Liverpool and an additional £40,000 a week available if he behaves himself.

In a way, it shows Balotelli is certainly maturing as his career progresses, and The Guardian's Daniel Taylor admits that the positive connotations of his signing do (just) outweigh the negatives:

Rodgers acknowledges the risk of the deal and will look to succeed where the likes of Jose Mourinho, Roberto Mancini and Massimiliano Allegri have struggled in the past.

The Sunday Times' Jonathan Northcroft says that Rodgers had an extensive one-on-one with the player at the end of last week, the results of which were encouraging:

There's no doubt that should the Reds be able to curtail Balotelli's outlandish tendencies, they'll have a potent resource on their hands, one who can flourish if he were to focus his efforts solely on on-pitch matters.

After all, this is the same club who just sold Luis Suarez to Barcelona, dealing with the Uruguayan's considerable and well-chronicled baggage.

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 27:  Mario Balotelli #45 of AC Milan signals to teammates against Manchester City during International Champions Cup 2014 at Heinz Field on July 27, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Balotelli will require a similarly close eye and monitoring, but his talent is undeniable, and the competition he'll provide the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Rickie Lambert will assuredly be of use.

With only a matter of hours remaining until the deal will reportedly materialise, Balotelli's Premier League return looks assured, and only time will tell if that's a good or bad thing for all parties affected.


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