Mario Balotelli and Lucas Leiva‘s Liverpool futures have made the headlines in the last few days, and we update you on the current situation.
Balotelli was linked with a loan move to Serie A champions Juventus on Sunday evening, but the Old Lady head coach Massimiliano Allegri has told Italian tv station RAI that the rumours are false:
“I think this is a made-up story. Balotelli has done very well with me but he belongs to Liverpool and he is not a player that can arrive at Juventus.
“With me, Balotelli had a good year, with a good goalscoring record. Unfortunately he’s built a ‘persona’ outside of the football world and because of this people tend to talk more about what he does off the pitch than what he does on the pitch.
“But I think the time has come for him to show that he really can achieve his full potential- through sacrifices and effort. Whether I would like to work with him again or not, well, I would love to have all the best players, but he’s at Liverpool now, and while he is there he needs to concentrate on playing well. He needs to concentrate on showing he is an important player.”
Meanwhile, James Pearce reports in the Echo that Liverpool are reluctant to sell Lucas, with Inter Milan clearly interested in acquiring the Brazilian’s services for approximately £7 million.
Pearce claims that the Reds have yet to receive an offer from the Nerazzurri, and a loan deal for the 28-year-old is out of the question – which Brendan Rodgers explained to BT Sport before the Sunderland match.
Lucas’ form has been terrific of late, which makes it totally understandable as to why Rodgers would not want to sell him now.
Balotelli, meanwhile, may be having a poor time of things at the moment, but getting rid of him without bringing in a replacement makes little to no sense.
He still has the potential to offer more than Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini, and deserves a chance to star alongside the returning Daniel Sturridge at some point. They impressed against Tottenham back in August – Sturridge’s last game for Liverpool in 2014.
Sturridge, meanwhile, was at Melwood taking part in training on Monday as he nears a return from injury.
Let us know your thoughts on the Balotelli and Lucas situation in the comments section.