Liverpool leave Mario Balotelli out of pre-season trip to Finland

Mario Balotelli looks across as Brendan Rodgers
Image: Brendan Rodgers has left Mario Balotelli out of his Liverpool squad for the pre-season trip to Finland

Mario Balotelli has been left out of Liverpool’s squad for their pre-season trip to Finland, despite the club receiving no offers for the striker, Sky sources understand.

The Reds take on HJK Helsinki on Saturday in their penultimate friendly before the start of the new Premier League season, but will do so without the Italy forward. 

Balotelli, instead, will continue to report to the club’s Melwood training ground as he continues his own fitness regime ahead of the new campaign. It is not yet known whether he will feature in Liverpool’s final pre-season match at Swindon Town on Sunday.  

His omission from the first-team squad comes just two weeks after he was not included in the travelling party for the club’s recent pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia. 

Sky sources also understand that two Serie A clubs are interested in signing the 24-year-old, but would only be prepared to commit to an exceptionally cut-price deal. 

Balotelli joined Liverpool from AC Milan for £16m only last summer, but failed to find any real consistent form and has since been linked with a move away from Anfield. 

Liverpool's Mario Balotelli failed to make much of an impression
Image: Liverpool's Mario Balotelli has failed to make much of an impression at Anfield

Manager Brendan Rodgers has already bolstered his forward line this summer with the signings of Danny Ings and Christian Benteke, which would appear to have sent Balotelli further down the pecking order with Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi already at the club. 

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Rodgers has remained coy when previously asked over the future of the former Manchester City forward and refused to confirm whether he would remain at the club beyond the end of the current transfer window.

Balotelli, who has two years left to run on his current contract, scored just one Premier League goal in 16 appearances for Liverpool last season. 

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