Desiring more weapons in the attack, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has reportedly targeted AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli as his next major acquisition.
The Reds have spent nearly £100 million this summer, most of which went to sprucing up the attack with strikers Divock Origi, Lazar Markovic and Rickie Lambert. However Balotelli, could make the biggest impact for Merseyside’s Champions League and Premier League hopes.
The 23-year-old Italian has only spent one season in Milan, netting an impressive 26 goals in 43 appearances, and he’s developed into a very dangerous attacker since leaving Manchester City. It’s impossible for any one player to replace the now departed Luis Suarez, but a teaming of Balotelli and Daniel Sturridge could make the Reds attack just as formidable as last term’s.
According to Express, Rodgers spoke highly of Balotelli, and indicated he’s been watching the player for quite some time.
"Balotelli has all the qualities [I like],” Rodgers said. "He’s 6’3”, he’s quick, his touch is terrific, he can score goals and he’s still so young.
"I saw that in this time at Inter as a young player and obviously going to Manchester City when we had a real close eye on him there. He’s a big talent."
Balotelli spent three years with City and scored 20 goals, but was never the focal point of the attack. At Anfield the attack could flow through him almost immediately. Balotelli’s market value is around £27 million, but Milan could accept £14 million, with the player reported to be unhappy with the club as far back as January.
In other news, the Reds are still holding on to hopes of luring Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Marco Reus. The 25-year-old has yet to sign a contract extension with Dortmund, but Liverpool are in contention with Manchester United and Bayern Munich for Reus. Munich’s top official made a rather cryptic statement in regards to his pursuits of Reus and today’s transfer practices.
"I like to give myself a year in advance to make transfer decisions,” Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said to Express. “But this cannot be done in football any more.
“In the past we have tried to clarify our transfers early, but today the philosophy is different.”
Reus suffered an ankle injury prior to Germany’s World Cup title run, but the knock isn’t expected to limit him for next term. He’s totaled 30 goals in 62 appearances over two years with Dortmund.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail is reporting that long-time Reds defender Daniel Agger is unsure about his status with the club after the £20 million deal for Dejan Lovren. Barcelona and Danish club Brondby, where Agger began his career, have reportedly kept tabs on the 29-year-old but no move seems imminent. Since 2006, Agger’s made 175 and scored nine goals, as a pivotal contributor to Liverpool’s backline.