English Premiership

Balotelli signing was the owners idea - Rodgers

2016-01-18 14:30
Mario Balotelli (AFP)

Cape Town - Liverpool's former manager Brendan Rodgers has said the club's owners were behind the decision to sign Mario Balotelli from AC Milan after the coach had built his plans around Arsenal-bound Alexis Sanchez.

Liverpool signed Balotelli for £16 million following the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona in 2014, but the Italian endured an unsuccessful season at Anfield before returning to Italy on loan for this campaign.

Rodgers, whose tenure at the club ended in September, said he did not believe the Italian forward was suited to Liverpool's style of play, but the club's owners thought signing Balotelli could prove to be a bargain.

"When we were struggling to get in the type of player we wanted for that role, the ownership thought this (Balotelli) was a player I could maybe develop," Rodgers told Sky Sports on Sunday.

"They thought this is a £50 million player that they can bring in for 16 million, and I can maybe develop him how I developed a few of the other players.

"When the owners want you to go down that route and there are no other options, you give it a go."

Balotelli scored just four goals in 28 appearances for Liverpool in a disappointing season where the Merseysiders finished sixth in the Premier League.

Rodgers said the club had targeted Sanchez and felt the Chile forward perfectly fitted the profile of player they were looking for following Suarez's departure.

He eventually signed for Arsenal, leaving Liverpool with a last-minute dash to find a striker.

"The huge blow for us was that we felt we could get Alexis Sanchez," Rodgers said.

"We thought he was the like-for-like replacement, we thought he would be perfect for us how he pressed the game, how aggressive he was in his quality.

"We felt with Luis gone, we would get Sanchez in, it would be a smooth transition into the team."

Liverpool lost to Manchester United 1-0 at home on Sunday and sit ninth in the table under new manager Jurgen Klopp.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
31 October 2016
Stoke City v Swansea City, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.