It a surprise. In early August, when Balotelli-to-Liverpool rumours first surfaced, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers declared, “I can categorically tell you Mario Balotelli will not be at Liverpool.”
The transfer fee will be $US26 million, according to the Guardian. Balotelli will replace Luis Suarez, another controversial figure, who the club sold to Barcelona for a record fee earlier in the summer.
The 24-year-old Balotelli played for rivals Manchester City from 2010 to 2013, scoring 20 goals in 54 appearances. He moved to AC Milan in 2013 after a falling out with manager Robert Mancini, leaving a heap on controversies in his wake.
Balotelli is talented, volatile, intelligent, unpredictable, and self-destructive all at once. He’s wildly entertaining, and his presence in the Premier League is a gift to fans. But he’s also a risk.
His greatest hits include:
- He lit his bathroom on fire with a firework in 2012.
- He has a life-sized gold statue of himself in his house in Milan.
- He got 27 parking tickets in his first year in England, at a total of $US16,000.
- He got into a fist-fight with his coach at Manchester City.
He also did this to a Tottenham player, resulting in a lengthy suspension:
Liverpool have been very active in the transfer market, bolstering their squad as they prepare for their first Champions League campaign since 2009-10. Considering the fees that some other forwards have gone for this summer, $US26 million for a proven 24-year-old goalscorer like Balotelli seems like a deal.
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