Klopp: I told Balotelli he must leave Liverpool

The German coach praised the Italian striker as “world class” and hopes to get him back to his best to prepare him for a move away from Anfield

Jurgen Klopp has told Mario Balotelli he needs to leave Liverpool, but hopes to help him rediscover his best form beforehand.

Balotelli joined Liverpool from AC Milan in 2014 but, after scoring just one Premier League goal in 16 appearances in his first season at the club, he was sent back to San Siro on loan the following year.

The 25-year-old managed just to find the net just once in Serie A last term, though he missed more than three months with a groin injury, and Klopp does not see a future for him at Anfield.

However, the German hopes to help build Balotelli’s confidence back up before sending him to a club where he can be a leading figure.

“Since he has been back here, he’s been a good guy and I can’t say anything different than that,” said Klopp.

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“Everything’s been good, it’s all okay. And now he’s here, we will do everything we can to get him fit.

“We want Mario to become the player he was before his injury. The talent is still there – no doubt about it

“When we have done the crossing, heading and stuff, he’s been world class. But this is not a situation where he should be battling with other players like this for one position so it’s clear we need a solution.

“There will be a club around who would be happy to have a new Mario Balotelli, if you like. I have spoken clearly to the player about that.

“It’s now time to make decisions and I try to help Mario to get in the best shape he can be in and we will see what happens.”

Balotelli, who made 16 league appearances for Liverpool in the 2014-15 campaign before being sent on loan last term, is contracted to the club until June 2018.

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