Belfast Telegraph

Reds close in on Balotelli capture

Liverpool are on the verge of sealing the signing of Mario Balotelli after the Italy striker appeared at the club's training ground on Monday.

The Merseyside club are understood to be hopeful of formally announcing his move from AC Milan before the match against the player's former club Manchester City on Monday night.

Balotelli, who was photographed practising on a pitch at Melwood wearing a Liverpool training top, is expected to cost £16million.

Balotelli has had a colourful career for Inter Milan, Manchester City and AC Milan, as well as with the Italy national side, and has often fallen out with his managers.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is believed to have asked for assurances about the player's behaviour on and off the pitch.

Last week, Rodgers said no incoming player would be allowed to threaten the "fantastic environment" at the club.

Speaking about the standards of behaviour expected at Liverpool and his determination to protect them, Rodgers said: "I think every club will have a code of conduct for the people and professionals who work (for them).

"We have quite an extensive code of conduct for players and staff - there is no specific one for any one individual.

"We have a fantastic environment here and a great culture and I think it is something that was very important for us to create and build here.

"There will be nothing that will ever shake that or provoke it in any way. It is something I always protect at the club."

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