• 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
Rapper Snoop Dogg held by Italian customs
Snoop Dogg. Photo: Theo Wargo / Getty Images North America / AFP

Rapper Snoop Dogg held by Italian customs

Rap star Snoop Dogg has been stopped by police in Italy while carrying $422,000 (€384,000) in cash, authorities say. READ  

Italy's Ruffini wins world open water gold
Simone Ruffini. Photo: Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

Italy's Ruffini wins world open water gold

Italy dominated the men's marathon 25km open water podium on Saturday with Simone Ruffini taking gold and Matteo Furlan bronze at the world championships in Kazan. READ  

Renzi defends reforms as jobless rate rises
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi defended his labour reform programme on Friday. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Renzi defends reforms as jobless rate rises

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi defended his labour reform programme on Friday, playing down gloomy unemployment data and insisting the debt-laden country was on the right path to growth. READ  

VIDEO: 'Blond' bear finds internet fame in Italy
The 'blond' bear was caught on camera by a farmer in Lombardy. Photo: Screengrab/YouTube.

VIDEO: 'Blond' bear finds internet fame in Italy

A blond-haired bear has become something of a sensation in Italy after being caught on video by a farmer in Lombardy. READ  

Naomi Campbell guilty over Italy assault
British supermodel Naomi Campbell was convicted of assaulting a photographer on the Sicilian island of Lipari in 2009. Photo: Chris Weeks/Getty Images North America/AFP

Naomi Campbell guilty over Italy assault

British supermodel Naomi Campbell was on Friday convicted by a Sicilian court of assaulting a photographer on the island of Lipari, and given a six month suspended prison term, Live Sicilia reported. READ  

Video
Alitalia attendant loses cool amid airport chaos
Photo: screengrab Youreporter.it

Alitalia attendant loses cool amid airport chaos

A video showing an Alitalia flight attendant shoving a passenger at Rome's Fiumicino airport has gone viral. READ  

Nursery was wrong to expel vegan child: court
A vegan meal. Photo: Jennifer/Flickr

Nursery was wrong to expel vegan child: court

A court in the northern Italian province of Alto Adige has ruled that a nursery school was wrong to expel a child whose mother requested that he be fed a vegan diet. READ  

Italy's unemployment rises to 12.7 percent
A protest against premier Matteo Renzi's controversial labour reforms late last year. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Italy's unemployment rises to 12.7 percent

Italy's unemployment rate rose to 12.7 percent in June, the national statistics office, Istat, said on Friday. READ  

Italy's south is worse off than Greece
Crumbling buildings and rubbish in Palermo, Sicily. Photo: Denis Bocquet

Italy's south is worse off than Greece

Italy's impoverished south has the lowest growth rate in the eurozone, lagging far behind even the sick man of Europe, Greece. READ  

Disruption continues at Rome's crisis-hit airport
Flights in and out of Rome's disaster-hit Fiumicino airport were seriously disrupted for a second day on Thursday. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Disruption continues at Rome's crisis-hit airport

Flights in and out of Rome's disaster-hit Fiumicino airport were seriously disrupted for a second day on Thursday after a fire in a nearby pine grove threw dense smoke across the runway. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
What happens to Italy’s missing migrant kids?
National
Rome mayor fights for survival amid chaos
National
Is Italy about to legalize cannabis?
National
Rome's 'decay' prompts council reshuffle
Business & Money
Chinese are quaffing more Italian wine
Travel
Seven daft TripAdvisor comments about Italy
National
Italian town bans dog barking during naptime
National
Tornado predicted as Italy heatwave ends
National
Italy told to recognize same-sex couple rights
National
Migrant girl dies after insulin thrown in sea
National
Heatwave kills 140 pensioners in Piedmont
National
Treviso homeowners burn migrants' furniture
National
Tourists in hot water for Rome fountain dips
Migrants rush to help after Venice tornado
Politics
Isis steps up campaign with Italy consulate hit
National
Paolini tweets 'sorry' for cocaine shame
Travel
Where and how to take a great selfie in Italy
National
Venice tornado captured on video
Travel
London is great for jobs, but not the dolce vita
Travel
Five Italian Unesco sites you won't have heard of
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
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

3,446
jobs available