Balotelli not seeking leading role at Liverpool, claims agent

Mino Raiola insists Mario Balotelli will be quite happy to take a back seat at Liverpool and let their more established players take the leading role.

The Italian international looks certain to join the Reds in the coming days, after holding progressive talks with manager Brendan Rodgers over the past 48 hours. A fee of £16million has already been agreed with Milan for the striker, who endured a controversial yet successful two-and-a-half-year spell in England with Manchester City.

Balotelli was one of the Blues star players as they won the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League title the following year, before the club finally grew tired of his off-field antics and on-field discipline and agreed to let him return home to Milan. Yet when he finally pulls on the red of Liverpool, the 24-year-old will be happy to accept a back seat.

“He is not ready to be a leader,” Raiola told Corriere Della Sport. “So I searched for a team where he can be an important element without being the leader. Liverpool have Steven Gerrard – Mario will be protected and there he will do his best. Mario needs to feel free, to score goals and nothing more. Now it’s up to him. Another flop is not advisable.”

Balotelli spent Friday afternoon undergoing a medical at Liverpool’s training ground, but he will not be signed in time to face his former club at the Etihad Stadium on Monday evening. However, Raiola is hugely confident that the transfer will be completed, and he has denied the club have insisted on a behavioural clause to be inserted into his contract.

“I’ll close Balotelli’s contract on Monday or Tuesday,” he added in the same publication. “Liverpool have always been the only club which I have dealt with for Mario in England. Mario Balotelli won’t have a different contract than the other Liverpool’s players – he has to behave with the code of conduct of the club like everyone else.”

Liverpool fans – is Balotelli more trouble than he’s worth? Or can he help you finally end your long wait for the league title? Have your say in the discussion below!

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