Brendan Rodgers refused to confirm anything as regards Mario Balotelli’s proposed move to Liverpool, but did speak about man management in his press conference at Melwood on Friday.
Balotelli is expected to complete his £16 million switch from AC Milan in the next 24 hours, but Rodgers started his press conference by telling the media, “I can categorically tell you that I can’t speak about him [Balotelli] or any player until we sign them.”
However, he then proceeded to drop hints about how he plans to handle Balotelli — reassuring any doubts about the striker’s behaviour — and absorb him into the Liverpool set up throughout the remainder of the press conference.
“We have an intensive code of conduct for any member of staff here. That covers everyone, not one particular individual,” Rodgers added.
“Nothing will ever shake our fantastic environment. We’ve got a learning environment for players, lots of players improving.
“No player would come into here if I felt it couldn’t work. If I can help the person, then it’s something I will look at too.
” People who know me well will tell you I look to try and develop the player and the person. Thankfully we have that culture here.
“I’ve shown before that as long as players care and want to learn, we can give them the opportunity to develop.
“Sometimes you have to take a risk with people, but a lot of the time if you take that risk you get a reward for it.”
Personal terms were finalised with Balotelli’s agent on Friday morning, clearing the way for the 24-year-old to fly to England and complete his medical.
#LFC talks with Balotelli agent have reached successful conclusion. Player will now fly into UK this afternoon to begin medical.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) August 22, 2014
Following that, Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio reported that Balotelli was on a private flight from Milan to Liverpool, which should have got to Merseyside at around 2pm BST.
The Liverpool Echo report that the Reds “received the reassurances they wanted about the striker’s willingness to agree to behavioural clauses in his contract,” and suggest he will earn around £110,000 a week.
Some reports suggest he has taken a £60,000 per week pay cut to complete the move to Anfield.
Balotelli has accepted a wage decrease to £110k per week to sign for #LFC. Echo saying he has agreed to behavioural clauses. Medical today.
— Nik Postinger (@nikpostinger) August 22, 2014
Balotelli will not make his Liverpool debut against former club Manchester City when the two clubs meet in the Premier League on Monday as his registration documents needed to be completed by 12noon BST on Friday.
The Italian international will become Liverpool’s ninth signing of the summer, taking their total spend up to £117 million.
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