Rodgers: We thought we were getting Alexis but signed Balotelli instead

The 42-year-old reveals he did not have the final say on transfers at Anfield and admits missing out on the Chilean was a “huge blow”

Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has explained how he expected to sign Alexis Sanchez for the Reds, only to see his side move for Mario Balotelli instead.

The Chile international was linked with a move to Anfield, as part of the deal that would see Luis Suarez move to Barcelona, but instead opted to sign for Arsenal when he left Camp Nou in July 2014.

Liverpool instead signed Balotelli, who has subsequently moved to AC Milan on loan after failing to impress, and Rodgers has spoken of his frustrations in the transfer market.

“Transfers were a group decision,” he told Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday. “It was certainly not something where I would have the sole final say.

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“It’s difficult because you want a player in but if the player is not on the list you couldn’t. We needed a player who could press at the top, because Luis Suarez gave us so much of that.

“The huge blow was that we thought we were getting Alexis Sanchez and that he’d be a like-for-like replacement in terms of how he pressed the game, his aggression.

“Rickie Lambert would come in and be an option if we needed something else in the game. 

“But we didn’t get Alexis Sanchez. I felt Mario wasn’t someone who suited the profile of what we were after but, come the end of the summer, when we were struggling to get in the type of player we wanted, the ownership thought this was perhaps one I could develop.”

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