Milan confirm Liverpool Balotelli talks
AC Milan have confirmed they are in talks with Liverpool over the sale of striker Mario Balotelli to the Reds.
Via their official television station Milan Channel, the Rossoneri announced that "negotiations with Liverpool regarding the sale of Mario Balotelli are underway." They emphasised that it would be a permanent deal and not a loan.
If Balotelli, who has scored more Serie A goals than any other player since he joined Milan, completes the move this week he could make his debut against former club Manchester City at the Etihad on Monday evening.
The player's agent, Mino Raiola, is reported to have flown to England to push forward discussions between his client and the Premier League club, although he is also expected to meet with representatives of Arsenal about one of his other clients, Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas.
Sky Sport Italia have quoted the Italy international, training with his Milan teammates at Milanello on Thursday morning, as saying: "Today is my last day here."
Brendan Rodgers has cash to spend after selling Luiz Suarez to Barcelona earlier this summer, and Liverpool are in the market for a new striker to fill the Uruguayan's boots.
Earlier this week, Milan's general manager Adriano Galliani refused to rule out the sale of Balotelli this summer, although he said that Liverpool had, at the time, not made an official approach. "The transfer market finishes on September 1, so we'll see," he told Italy's ANSA agency.
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Sources informed ESPN FC on Wednesday night that Liverpool had now formalised their interest in the 24-year-old, and this has now been confirmed by Milan.
According to Sky Sport Italia, negotiations are based on a fee of around 20 million euros. Should an agreement be reached, Balotelli could fly to Merseyside before the weekend, although it was also reported the player was training as usual with his Milan teammates on Thursday morning.
The former Inter Milan forward joined Milan from Manchester City for just over 20 million euros in January 2013. He had cost City 30 million euros when he arrived from the Nerazzurri in 2010.
Last season, he scored 14 goals in 30 Serie A games for Milan, but he was made a scapegoat by many for Italy's failure at the World Cup.