• Italy's news in English
 

Super Mario on brink of shock Liverpool move

Published: 21 Aug 2014 13:25 GMT+02:00

According to sports channel Sky Italia, AC Milan have agreed to let the 24-year-old move to Anfield and a transfer worth €20 million is being wrapped up.

A Milan spokesman said he could not confirm any talks.

The reported move is being seen as a sign of Liverpool's frustration at being unable to land a top quality replacement for Luis Suarez following the Uruguayan's World Cup biting disgrace and subsequent departure for Barcelona.

During Liverpool's tour of the United States earlier this month, Rodgers had appeared to close the door on a move for Ballotelli, saying: "I can categorically tell you that he will not be coming to Liverpool."

The striker's three years (2010-13) with Manchester City were overshadowed by his off-pitch antics, which included car crashes, setting fireworks off in his bathroom and an incident in which he threw a dart at a youth-team player.

He was regularly at loggerheads with then City boss Roberto Mancini and clashed with some team-mates while producing only intermittent flashes of his undoubted star quality.

Liverpool have reportedly targeted Monaco's Radamel Falcao as their first-choice replacement for Suarez but appear to have made little headway in their attempts to secure the Colombian, who missed the second half of last season and the World Cup with a serious knee injury.

A return to England and a fresh start could suit Balotelli. The striker has been subjected to criticism in his home country for a perceived poor attitude during Italy's World Cup campaign, which ended with the Azzurri flying home at the end of the group stage.

As the most prominent black player in Italy and the first to represent the country at a major tournament, Balotelli has also had to endure regular racist abuse of a kind which is now rare in English stadiums.

Balotelli was always a high-profile figure during his time in England, where he won both the Premier League and the FA Cup but also become a fixture in the gossip pages of the national press.

Awkward character

What Balotelli perceived as his unjust treatment led to a well-known goal celebration where, after scoring against local rivals Manchester United, he lifted his shirt to reveal a slogan saying 'Why Always Me?'

Balotteli eventually left for Milan when Mancini decided the time was right to cash in on his erratic forward.

Rodgers may feel he can do a better job of managing the striker, given the praise he received for the way he handled another 'awkward' character in Suarez.

Suarez's caused Rodgers plenty of problems but the Northern Irishman was lauded for the way he was able to get the best out of his star striker, who scored 31 goals as the Reds narrowly missed out on the Premier League title last season.

Suarez left Liverpool for Barcelona in a £75 million (€94 million) move following his four-month ban for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup in Brazil.

Although Rodgers has already re-invested some of that money in signing a clutch of new players, he needs to strengthen a forward line that includes the England duo of Daniel Sturridge and Rickie Lambert, neither of whom can match Balotelli in terms of power and pace.

Balotelli scored 16 goals for Milan last season, as well as the winner in Italy's World Cup opener against England in Manaus.

SEE ALSO: Balotelli: A national hero with a bad boy reputation

Don't miss a story about Italy - join us on Facebook and Twitter

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Greece crisis
Livorno flies Greek flag in show of solidarity
The Greek flag. Photo: fdecomite

Livorno flies Greek flag in show of solidarity

As Eurozone leaders try to salvage a Greek bailout deal on Tuesday, the country's flag is being from from the town hall in Livorno in a show of solidarity for the Greek people. READ  

Italian fined for revealing affair to lover's wife
Don't tell the bride! Photo: David Ball

Italian fined for revealing affair to lover's wife

Telephoning your lover's wife to reveal an affair is a crime. At least according to a ruling by Italy's Court of Cassation. READ  

One killed in shooting at Naples market
One man was killed and another is in a critical condition after a shooting at a market near Naples. Photo: Alexandra Svatikova

One killed in shooting at Naples market

One man died and another was seriously injured in a shooting at a market near Naples on Tuesday. READ  

London is great for jobs, but not the dolce vita
London seen from Primrose hill. Photo: Duncan

London is great for jobs, but not the dolce vita

Some 250,000 Italians now live in London, according to data from Idos, the Italian centre for migration studies. But are Italians enjoying it there? READ  

Italian jihadist defends 'perfect' Islamic State
Maria Giulia Sergio, the 28-year-old Italian who joined Isis last year. Screengrab: Corriere della Sera

Italian jihadist defends 'perfect' Islamic State

In a chilling interview over Skype, a 28-year-old Italian woman who joined the ranks of Isis last year told Corriere della Sera that the Islamic State is a "perfect country" and when the group beheads people, it is simply obeying Sharia Law. READ  

Greece crisis
Greek crisis not due to 'mean Germans': Italy
Italian Foreign Minister, Paolo Gentiloni. Photo: Alfredo Estrella / AFP

Greek crisis not due to 'mean Germans': Italy

Greeks have their own leaders to blame for the crisis in their country, and not "mean Germans", Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Tuesday. READ  

Tunisia recovers bodies of Italy-bound migrants
Migrants arrive at the port in the Tunisian town of Ben Guerdane, some 40 kilometres west of the Libyan border, in June. Photo: Fethi Nasri/AFP

Tunisia recovers bodies of Italy-bound migrants

Tunisian coast guards recovered the decomposed bodies of five migrants who apparently drowned at sea as they sought to reach Italy from conflict-hit Libya, an official said on Monday. READ  

Greece crisis
Spain's far-left urges Italy to back Athens
Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP

Spain's far-left urges Italy to back Athens

Spain's far-left party Podemos, an ally of Greece's ruling Syriza, on Monday urged France and Italy's social democratic governments to back Athens as it bids to negotiate a new debt deal. READ  

Five Italian Unesco sites you won't have heard of
The interior of Monreale cathedral and Crist Pantocrator. Photo: Pit56

Five Italian Unesco sites you won't have heard of

Italy now has an impressive 51 spots on the Unesco World Heritage list - making it the most Unesco-rich country in the world. But how many of Italy's Unesco sites have you heard of? READ  

Pirlo leaves Juventus for New York City
Andrea Pirlo has joined New York City FC. Photo: Oliver Lang/AFP

Pirlo leaves Juventus for New York City

Italian World Cup-winner Andrea Pirlo has joined MLS side New York City FC on a two-and-a-half-year deal after being granted a free transfer by Juventus, both clubs and the player confirmed on Twitter on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Nesting flamingos a first for Sicily
Travel
Passenger fury over BA’s late Italy airport switch
National
How to keep cool like an ancient Roman
Travel
Chaos deepens at Rome's blaze-hit airport
National
Italy raises terror alert after attacks
National
Sardinia's poor give all to refugees
National
A beginner's guide to aperitivo in Italy
Fake Italian restaurant tops TripAdvisor ranking
National
Canton of Ticino threatens closing Italy border to asylum seekers
National
Italian grandfather, 91, completes middle school
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Is this Italy's most violent sport?
National
Italy smashes record for tallest Lego tower
Travel
Dark tourism: Italy's creepiest attractions
National
Italo-American cuisine mocked on Facebook
National
Italy's immigrants send billions back home
National
Why Italians aren’t having more babies
National
The pros and cons of being an au pair in Italy
French people told to stop scoffing Nutella in order to save planet
National
Italy: we'll hurt Europe over migrant crisis
Top that! Italy snatches pizza title from Spain
Travel
Most liveable cities: five neglected Italian gems
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: 9 questions every expat should ask
Politics
Berlusconi and Putin: an enduring love
National
Italy has fourth highest petrol costs in world
Features
Six bizarre health tips Italian grans swear by
Turning away migrants 'heartless': Sicily mayor
National
Italy okays proton therapy in cancer case
Nuns stuck in lift for three nights 'drank urine'
Five insane ways EU money was blown in Italy
Yes, it's still a crime to insult Italy's president
National
Nine in ten Italians don't like Roma: survey
National
VIDEO: €619 fine for nuns' Italy beach photo trip
Politics
VIDEO: Mattarella meets Britain's Queen
National
VIDEO: Rome police help ducks cross busy road
National
Tide turning in Italy over gay marriage
National
Italian court tells veggie mum: feed your son meat
National
7 ways Italian culture will change your life
National
Italian town sets new Tiramisù record
National
US finds Pompeii frescoes robbed in 1950s
Travel
10 things to do in Milan when you visit Expo
National
Producer warns of global Prosecco shortage
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,547
jobs available