Raiola: Rodgers didn’t like Balotelli; Klopp might

Date published: Saturday 2nd January 2016 11:53

Mario Balotelli

Mino Raiola says Brendan Rodgers had a “preconception” towards Mario Balotelli, but the agent believes his client could prosper under Jurgen Klopp.

Balotelli joined Liverpool for £16million in August 2014, but he scored just one goal in 16 Premier League games as he struggled to acclimatise to life under Rodgers.

The Italian has since returned to AC Milan on a season-long loan, but has found his time in Italy ravaged by injuries.

Raiola, speaking to Sky, says that he will hold talks with Klopp over Balotelli’s return in the summer.

“That is part of my job, to speak to all the managers,” Raiola said. “I know Klopp from (representing) Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Dortmund.

‘If we talk about the quality and the talent Mario has, that is without question.

‘Then you also need a manager that believes in you and gives you the chance to prove yourself. We will talk to him when it is time to talk to him.

“Whether Klopp has a plan for him or not – I don’t know, I haven’t spoken to him about this or to Liverpool. I think it is too soon.

“Obviously if Mario does what he has to do, there is maybe another view on him also.

“He had to go away because with Brendan there was no possibility to develop any more. There was a preconception towards Mario and I think from his private part of life he has proven them wrong.

“But we have to be realistic. He didn’t perform well in 2015 and 2016 needs to be his year. That is his challenge.”

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