Mario Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola has made public that Italy international will stay at Anfield this summer. Following a disappointing campaign which caused him omitted from the squad during the latter part of the season, the striker has been linked with a move away from Merseyside. However, Mino Raiola insisted that his client is going nowhere.
“We had talks with Liverpool and he will definitely stay,” answered Raiola when asked if his client would leave the Merseyside club in the summer.
Balotelli joined Liverpool from AC Milan for £16 million in 2014 but has only scored one Premier League goal in his first season at Anfield. He starting only 14 games in all competitions, scoring four goals and publicly criticized several times by his manager, Brendan Rodgers. The 24-year-old was also hindered by injury and illness and did not play in any of Liverpool’s last four match-day squads.
Rodgers criticized Balotelli’s work-rate and inability to adapt to the team’s demands several times last season, but Raiola says the problem has not been down to his client. He feels the striker took those comments on board and has worked hard to try and fit in with Liverpool’s pattern of play. “He did adapt. Mario and I spoke various times to the club and they were very happy with Mario with his input and professionalism,” stated Raiola. “Obviously we have to improve the performance, but I am confident it will happen next year,” he believed.
Balotelli earned a basic £80,000-a-week plus top-ups related to performance and behavior, and has two years remaining on his three-year deal. The club have an option to keep him until te fourth year but it underlines his unsuitability to Rodger’s system. On the other hand, Sampdoria have also stated that they have an interest in taking Balotelli back to Serie A.