The agent of Liverpool F.C. striker Mario Balotelli, Mino Raiola, has revealed the player will not be leaving Merseyside this summer.
The Italy international, who joined Liverpool from AC Milan in a deal worth £16 million last summer, endured a dismal 2014/15 campaign at Anfield, netting just four goals in 28 appearances in all competitions.
Despite Balotelli being dropped from the first-team squad for much of the latter part of the season, Raiola has insisted his client is going nowhere.
“We had talks with Liverpool and he will definitely stay,” Raiola told Sky Sports News HQ reporter Paul Gilmour.
Earlier in the season, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers implied that he and Balotelli were struggling to adapt to each other, but Raiola has moved to dismiss such a suggestion.
“I think Mario did [adapt],” Raiola added. “I can’t talk about Brendan Rodgers, obviously that is something for Brendan, but I think Mario did.
“I have spoken at various times to the club and they were happy with his input and professionalism. Obviously we have to improve the performance but I am really confident that will happen this year.”
Italian Serie A champions Juventus are priced at 7/4 to be Balotelli’s next permanent club.
Juve confirm interest in Khedira
Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta has confirmed the club’s interest in signing Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira.
The Germany international, 28, is out of a contract at the end of June, having turned down a contract extension last year.
“Khedira has an interesting profile and not just for us,” Marotta said. “It’s an opportunity because he is out of contract.
“We are thinking about it. We will evaluate the situation in the next few days.”
Juventus, priced at 9/2 to defeat Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League final on 6 June, face competition from the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United for Khedira’s signature.
Atsu in talks with Bournemouth
Chelsea F.C. winger Christian Atsu is reportedly in talks with newly-promoted Premier League club Bournemouth over a loan deal, according to Sky Sports.
The Ghana international, 23, joined Chelsea from Porto for around £3.5 million in September 2013, and was immediately loaned out to Dutch Eredivise side Vitesse Arnhem.
In 2013/14, Atsu went on to score five goals in 26 appearances for Vitesse before joining Everton on loan for the entire 2014/15 campaign.
Despite the Toffees’ struggles, Atsu failed to establish himself as a first-team regular under Roberto Martinez, and started just one English Premier League match all season.