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Mario Balotelli will be staying at Anfield, says agent

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli will remain at the club next season, according to his agent Mino Raiola.

The Italy international's first season after a £16million move from AC Milan was a flop with just four goals - only one of which came in the Barclays Premier League - and he was top of a list of names the club reportedly wanted to offload this summer.

However, Raiola insists the 24-year-old is staying where he is.

"We had talks with Liverpool and he will stay," he said.

"I spoke many times with the club and they were happy with his input as a professional."

Asked whether the striker and manager Brendan Rodgers had adapted to each other over the course of the season, Raiola added: "I think Mario did, I cannot talk for Brendan Rodgers. Obviously we're pretty confident it'll happen next year."

Balotelli did not feature in Liverpool's final four matches of the season, with his last appearance in the 1-0 defeat at Hull signifying the end of their challenge for Champions League qualification.

Meanwhile, departing Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has pledged to return to the club because he feels he has a contribution to make in the future.

The 34-year-old begins a new challenge in Major League Soccer with Los Angeles Galaxy this summer.

"I hope to get the opportunity to come back and serve the club again one day," said Gerrard.

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