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Brendan backtracking on Balotelli as £16m bid accepted

“I can categorically tell you that he will not be at Liverpool,” said Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers of Mario Balotelli at the beginning of August. However, reports suggest the Reds (10/1 chances to win the Premier League) have made a dramatic U-turn, and have had a £16m bid accepted.

Liverpool have splashed the cash this summer on a number of recruits, but have only brought in two front men, Rickie Lambert and Divock Origi – who has rejoined his former side Lille on a season-long loan.

After losing 31-goal striker last term Luis Suarez, and a move to sign Radamel Falcao looking unlikely, it seems now that Rodgers is to dip into the market once more and bring in the controversial former Manchester City player.

Balotelli has previously suggested that he misses the Premier League and his old club’s fans, but he may have to settle for a switch slightly to the west of his old stomping ground.

“I miss England’s fans, while I do not miss the food, or the weather, or the manner of driving a car,” the 24-year-old once said, after his move back to Italy.

“But fans of City, yes I miss them. But the AC Milan fans are fantastic too. Most of my memories about Manchester are happy because I enjoyed it there.

“It was not a shock for me to move to England and there is not a big difference between the two clubs.”

Balotelli moved to Milan for around £17m in January 2013, which is more than the fee offered to him by Liverpool to bring him back. Only recently, though, the Italian giants denied a reported £17.5m bid had been made by the Reds.

“At this time we have not received any offer from Liverpool for Balotelli,” Milan’s vice-president Adriano Galliani said. “Therefore, there is no negotiation. We will see as the transfer market ends on September 1st.”

Italy international Balotelli impressed for his side last term, getting 14 Serie A goals in 30 appearances, but the Rossoneri finished in a woeful eighth place.

With Liverpool finishing in second in the Premier League, they can offer him Champions League football again (the Reds are 25/1 to win), and an almost certain starting berth, alongside Daniel Sturridge.

Despite Rodgers strongly suggesting he didn’t want Balotelli, he didn’t manage to dig himself into too much of a hole, and was complimentary about the star.

“I was asked the question about Balotelli and spoke about what a talent he is and excellent player he is. He is a wonderful player,” he added.