Mario Balotelli set for Liverpool exit after pre-season squad omission

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Left out of the Liverpool squad for Friday night’s friendly 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers, Mario Balotelli is poised to leave the club.

The 26-year-old reluctantly returned to Merseyside at the beginning of July after loan club AC Milan opted against sealing his signature on a permanent basis.

But despite joining Jurgen Klopp‘s squad for pre-season training at Melwood, Balotelli was omitted from the German’s lineup at Prenton Park.

Ahead of Balotelli in Klopp’s ranks up front against Tranmere were Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings, with the latter scoring the Reds’ winner late on.

According to the Express‘ Paul Joyce, despite interest from Fenerbahce and Sampdoria, Liverpool could be forced to send Balotelli “back out on loan or come to some agreement with him that would terminate his contract.”

Balotelli scored just one Serie A goal for Milan in 2015/16, and with Klopp able to call upon the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi this season, was never likely to make the grade.

Leaving him out of his first pre-season squad of the summer is a clear indicator from Klopp.

Moving forward without ill-fitting players such as Balotelli, Christian Benteke and Martin Skrtel serves as an encouraging standpoint from the 49-year-old.

Signing a new six-year deal with the Reds on Friday morning, Klopp stressed his desire to achieve “the ultimate goal of making the supporters proud and happy.”

This could come with success in 2016/17, and Klopp has clearly identified that Balotelli will not be a part of his squad as they move forward.

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