Liverpool and AC Milan have reportedly settled on £16m as a fair price for the transfer of Mario Balotelli and, should the player agree personal terms, the Italian will be heading to Anfield.
The completion of the deal is now a mere matter of inevitability, with the bookies pricing the Reds up as 3/100 shoo-ins to house the former Manchester City man on September 2nd.
After ridding themselves of one controversy-magnet frontman, the Merseysiders have wasted little time parachuting in another, but signing a striker of this calibre is paramount if the Reds are to match or better their achievements of the previous campaign.
Here’s why Brendan Rodgers is right to make eyes at Mario:
As far as bargains go, they don’t come better than Balotelli.
At £16m they’ll be signing a player who averaged one goal every 132 minutes for the Rossoneri.
This incredible ratio bests the efforts of both Daniel Sturridge (one every 136 minutes) and Luis Suarez (one every 138 minutes), a pair whose market value dwarves that of Balotelli, as epitomised in Barcelona’s forking out of £75m to land the only Uruguayan mentioned in this paragraph.
Liverpool are recruiting a player with excellent pedigree in the English top-tier.
In 12 league starts for Man City in 2010/11 he struck six times.
It’s not a bad return for a forward on his maiden voyage in Premier League waters, but this was promptly belittled by the 13 he bagged from 14 line ups made a year later.
Balotelli injects ample Champions League experience into what is a squad stocked with novices at Europe’s top table.
Few names on the current Reds’ roster can claim to be well-versed in the goings on in club football’s elite competition.
Their inbound Italian, however, has clocked 23 appearances in his relatively short career so far, including eight in the previous campaign, which will surely come in handy as Liverpool ready themselves to face the game’s finest.
He adds versatility to their frontline.
The bulk of his goals were plundered when spearheading the attack, but Balotelli can be equally threatening when deployed out wide, meaning he can be called upon whatever system Rodgers elects to play.