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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 16 January, 2019

Balotelli 'very disappointed' by Liverpool drought, admits agent

The Italian has yet to score a Premier League goal for the Reds but despite talk of a return to Italy, the misfiring forward is determined to remain at Anfield.

MARIO BALOTELLI IS “very disappointed” by his start to life at Liverpool, although he has no intention of leaving the club, according to his representative Mino Raiola.

The Italy international moved to Anfield from AC Milan in a €20million summer deal but has struggled to hit the ground running on Merseyside, with his faltering form in front of goal leading to reports of personal unrest.

Balotelli has yet to score a Premier League goal in 2014-15 – indeed, he has netted just twice in all competitions – and Raiola admits that the striker has been unhappy with the way his Liverpool career has begun, though he insists that the misfiring forward has no desire to move.

The agent told Gazzetta dello Sport: “The plan is to continue at Anfield. I saw him Monday and told him: ‘You have a 4 year contract and I won’t bring you away. Or you leave Liverpool at 60-70 million, and I won my bet, or you’ll die there.’

“It’s the first time I make a speech like that to a player. I’ve seen him quiet, changed, different than Milan.

“Very disappointed with himself, too. He’s going through a bad time like he never had. In Liverpool he hasn’t his spaces: if you don’t make things as they want, you stay out. Then he was broken for eight weeks, he lost the rhythm.”

Balotelli has often been singled out for criticism this season but Raiola claims that the 24-year-old is simply the victim of “injustice” and that he is insecure.

“Of all the players I knew I’ve never met one forced to face the injustices suffered by Mario,” he added. “People do not know him, the truth is that Mario is an insecure boy, and due to his insecurity maybe he does stupid things.

“AC Milan needed a leader. Give the ball to Mario, he scores a goal, everyone is happy. But he is not a leader, and it is also wrong to ask him to be a leder.

“There are very strong players who have no leadership, others less strong but which have leadership.”

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