Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was asked about the future of Mario Balotelli and whether Divock Origi may arrive at Anfield early, at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
Rodgers has previously said he does not expect to do much business, if any, in January and the only departures he was looking at were loan deals, but he was unequivocal on the immediate future of Mario Balotelli after continued speculation linking him with a transfer-window move.
The Italy international has scored only two goals – neither in the Premier League – since his £16million summer move from AC Milan.
Balotelli’s former manager Roberto Mancini said the striker was in danger of wasting his career, but Rodgers will persevere with the 24-year-old.
“Roberto knows him very well. I think he (also) said if you work with Mario you should be paid double – I saw that so I will take that on board and speak to the owners on that,” he said. “All joking aside he (Mancini) has obviously worked with him and he knows him.
“Mario is a good guy and he’s come in here and not scored the goals he or we would have wanted, but we are determined to help him find the solution here so he certainly won’t be going anywhere in January.”
Liverpool have held discussions with Lille over the possibility of ending early Divock Origi‘s loan spell but it would require a significant change of heart from the Ligue 1 club, who stipulated as part of the £10million deal last summer the striker had to spend another full season with them.
“He is a player who will definitely be here next summer but whether he will be here in January….there has been some discussion but there is nothing to report on it,” said Rodgers.
“The agreement was with Lille for him to stay there so we will see how that works, but if not we have the players here who are developing and we will go with what we have got.”