Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hits back at agent Mino Raiola: I didn't isolate Mario Balotelli

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has brushed aside abusive comments from football superagent Mino Raiola.

Raiola, who represents Mario Balotelli, wasn't happy with how the German treated the striker, calling the Reds boss a 'piece of s***'.

The agent claimed that Balotelli requested playing time during the summer in order to build up his fitness, only for Klopp to turn him down.

"At the end of the day, he was a player of Liverpool and you need to treat him with respect. And he (Klopp) didn’t do that,” he said.

"Mario asked several times to have a friendly match. You can train all you want but, at the end of the day, you need 90 minutes, you need a friendly. He never considered him for 60 days.

"I’m not judging him as a trainer - I don’t like him as a trainer at all - but you have to let him play."

Klopp was asked about the comments on Thursday during the Leicester pre-match press conference. He stressed the Italy striker was not frozen out.

"We did not isolate him [Balotelli]," Klopp said. "That's part of the business I am not interested in.

"It's a free world so he can say what he wants, no problem."

Balotelli made a deadline day move to Ligue 1 Nice.

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