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Conduct clause key to Balotelli move to Liverpool

22 August 2014, 14:23

London - Mario Balotelli will have to agree to Liverpool's code of conduct if his proposed 16 million ($27 million, 20 million euros) transfer from AC Milan is to be completed, according to reports in the British press on Friday.

Speculation over Balotelli's future intensified Thursday after AC Milan acknowledged the temperamental Italy striker was on his way out of the San Siro.

Milan and Liverpool have agreed a fee to let the 24-year-old move to Anfield, media in England and Italy reported.

However, several British newspapers said the Merseyside club had held talks with Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, in Liverpool on Thursday where the terms for concluding the deal were laid out by the Anfield hierarchy.

It would appear Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, having gone through a series of off-field crises with Luis Suarez, the man Balotelli is set to replace, is in no mood for a repeat performance.

Also read: Balotelli set to join Liverpool

Balotelli's two-and-a-half years with Manchester City prior to returning to Italy were overshadowed by his off-pitch antics, which included car crashes, setting fireworks off in his bathroom and an incident in which he threw a dart at a youth-team player.

He was regularly at loggerheads with then City boss Roberto Mancini and clashed with some team-mates while producing intermittent flashes of his undoubted star quality.

The Milan website reported that Balotelli had said his goodbyes to players and staff after training on Thursday morning, suggesting only personal terms remain to be finalised.

If the deal goes through by 12:00pm UK local time (1100GMT) Friday, his first match could be at his former club Manchester City, who pipped Liverpool to the English title last season, on Monday.

Rodgers is due to hold his regular pre-match press conference at Liverpool's training ground later Friday.

Liverpool have yet to make any formal statement regarding Balotelli, but signing the striker would be consistent with their aim to land a top quality replacement for Suarez following the Uruguayan's World Cup biting disgrace and subsequent departure for Barcelona.

Also read: Owen sees good times ahead for United and Liverpool

During Liverpool's tour of the United States earlier this month, Rodgers had appeared to close the door on a move for Balotelli, saying: "I can categorically tell you that he will not be coming to Liverpool."

But with the close of the transfer window looming at the end of the month, it seems the Liverpool manager has had a change of heart brought on by the relative attractiveness of Balotelli's transfer fee and the club's failure to sign Monaco's Radamel Falcao as their first-choice replacement for Suarez.

Balotelli scored 16 goals for Milan last season, as well as the winner in Italy's World Cup opener against England in Manaus.

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