Rodgers: Balotelli a big talent

The Liverpool manager is in the market for a striker after sanctioning the €88m sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona and praised the 23-year-old AC Milan forward

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli could play for “any team in the world”.

The controversial Italy international has had a turbulent career so far, with on and off-field incidents landing him in hot water, while reports have linked the 23-year-old with a summer move to Arsenal.

Rodgers though, is in the market for a striker to fill the void left by Luis Suarez, who joined Barcelona in a €88 million move in July, and the Northern Irishman has spoken of his admiration for Balotelli ahead of Liverpool’s International Champions Cup friendly match against Milan.

“Balotelli is a big talent,” he told reporters. “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 got all the qualities. He’s 6ft 3ins, he’s quick, his touch is terrific and he can score goals. He went back to Italy to play and he’s still so young.

“If his focus is right, his concentration is right and he leads the lifestyle of a top player then he can play for any team in the world.”

The Reds take on Filippo Inzaghi’s side in Charlotte on Saturday.

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