Liverpool has reportedly agreed to pay 16 million-pound fee to AC Milan for former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, but the Italian must agree to several stringent clauses in the new contract regarding his behaviour.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers wants Balotelli to strengthen the Premier League side's attack after last season's top scorer Luis Suarez joined Barcelona. He had categorically stated that he had no interest in the problematic striker less than three weeks ago.
Balotelli moved to Milan for 19 million pounds from City last year and has scored 30 goals in 54 games for the Serie A club, The Guardian reported.
Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, travelled to Merseyside for further talks with Liverpool's chief executive, Ian Ayre, on Thursday after Milan accepted a 16 million pound bid for the striker. The Italian club quoted an exorbitant loan fee when Liverpool made their initial approach on Wednesday and rejected a proposal that the temporary deal could be terminated should Balotelli step out of line.
A permanent deal had been proposed then to suit all parties, with Milan desperate to sell the Italy international only 19 months after he joined his boyhood club and Liverpool running out of striking options to replace Suarez before the transfer deadline on 1 September.
But, Liverpool have to clarify several matters with Balotelli before completing the stunning transfer. Personal terms are one issue, with the striker seeking 1,60,000 pounds-a-week but is likely to be offered less by Liverpool.
A more pressing concern for Rodgers is protecting the club against any errant behaviour on Balotelli's part and ensuring the player can work to his standards at Melwood. Balotelli has had problems with most managers and clubs during his brief but highly eventful career, from Internazionale under Jose Mourinho, who once described Balotelli as unmanageable, to long-time confidant Roberto Mancini at Manchester City. The controversial striker also fell out with former national team coach Cesare Prandelli at Euro 2012 and again at this summer's World Cup, the report added.