Liverpool transfer news: Balotelli finally leaves for free
Unwanted striker joins Nice but Mamadou Sakho digs in his heels over exit - latest Liverpool transfer news and gossip
Liverpool fans were rejoicing today after the club finally got shot of Mario Balotelli, who will surely be remembered as one of the Anfield club's biggest mistakes.
The so-called striker with an aversion to scoring goals has spent the past few months loafing at Liverpool but not any longer after he joined French outfit Nice, 16 months after he last played a game for the Reds.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Nice had initially wanted to take Balotelli on a season-long loan but the Reds "were pushing for a permanent deal and finally got their way". The 26-year-old heads to the south of France on a free transfer and, as the Echo notes, though the Reds won't receive a transfer fee for Balotelli (they paid Milan £14m for his services two years ago) "they have at least avoided having to give him a pay-off".
As former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher commented wryly on twitter: "Balotelli on a free is still paying over the odds by Nice".
Balotelli is the 13th player to leave Anfield in the summer transfer window, the second highest turnover in the club's history behind the mass exodus in the summer of 2005. Among those no longer at the club after manager Jurgen Klopp embarked on a summer cull are Kolo Toure, Joe Allen and Jose Enrique.
Luis Alberto also departed Anfield on Deadline Day with the 23-year-old midfielder joining Lazio on a permanent deal. Alberto arrived at the Reds from Sevilla in June 2013 but never managed to nail down a regular starting point.
One player who refused to be farmed out, however, was Mamadou Sakho with the Echo reporting that the French defender has faced down Klopp by "digging his heels in and snubbing loan offers from the likes of Stoke, West Brom and Besiktas".
Liverpool transfer news: Eight offers for Danny Ings rejected
There could be plenty of goings but not many comings at Anfield on Deadline Day as Jurgen Klopp keeps his cheque book closed as the transfer window closes.
There will be "plenty of clearing out of lockers", says Chris Bascombe of the Daily Telegraph, who predicts that Liverpool will finally get shot of Mario Balotelli, that Mamadou Sakho will leave on loan to another Premier League club and winger Lazar Markovic will also depart.
However, one player who is going nowhere is Danny Ings. The Daily Star reports that Liverpool have turned down a £20m offer for the striker and adds that manager Jurgen Klopp still believes in the 24-year-old front man.
Since arriving at Anfield from Burnley 12 months ago, Ings has been plagued by injuries but Liverpool still believe he can be a goal machine for them and that's why they've knocked back approaches from "eight English clubs" this summer.
Meanwhile, the Star also says that the Reds are unlikely to succeed in their wish to Brazilian striker lure Luan from Gremio.
Reports emerged over the weekend that Liverpool were about to table a £29.9m offer for the Brazil Under-23 star. But in conversation with Globo Esporte, club president Romildo Bozan declared: "We have received no proposal for Luan. We have already previously reviewed an offer for Walace and rejected it. Gremio wants to keep its best players as we hope to end the year with a title."
Liverpool transfer news: Keeper Joe Hart 'desperate' to sign
Joe Hart is hoping he can switch from a Blue to a Red in the next few days, reports The Sun, with the paper claiming that the Manchester City keeper "is willing to take a huge pay cut to tempt Liverpool to bid for him".
Hart is no longer wanted at the Etihad, a rejection confirmed on Thursday by City's signing of Claudio Bravo from Barcelona, but the 29-year-old is "desperate" to join Liverpool in order "to keep his England place".
With new Three Lions boss Sam Allardyce soon to name his first England squad there is the strong possibility Hart might miss out if he's not playing regular first-team football. But the Sun says his hopes of signing for Liverpool "look slim" with manager Jurgen Klopp keeping faith with Simon Mignolet as his number one, backed up Loris Karius, who arrived at the start of the summer from Mainz.
Once again Liverpool fans are holding their breath and waiting to see what Mario Balotelli does next. After months of speculation it seems that the former Man City and AC Milan striker is on the verge of an Anfield exit, but only if he agrees to join French side Nice.
The striker missed training on Thursday for talks over a move, reports the Liverpool Echo, which adds that discussions over a fee are ongoing
"If Balotelli accepts the opportunity to join Lucien Favre's squad then the Reds are confident an agreement can swiftly be reached," it adds. Although that has been the case with other suitors all summer and no deal has yet been reached.
Liverpool transfer news: Man Utd in shock link to Balotelli
The future of Mario Balotelli is once more the subject of frenzied speculation with The Guardian reporting that the Liverpool flop is "weighing up a move to FC Sion".
The Swiss club's president, Christian Constantin, told Ticinonews.ch:"I can confirm we're discussing a possible loan of Balotelli. We're progressing but I can't say yet if the transfer will be successful or not."
Balotelli does not feature in Jurgen Klopp's plans for Liverpoool and has been linked with a host of clubs this summer. But proposed moves to Chievo and Sassulo have fallen through and, despite the fact that Balotelli is fast falling off football's radar, The Guardian says Balotelli "has yet to decide whether to join a club who finished sixth in the Swiss Super League last season".
But according to Talksport, it's not Sion who are after Balotelli but United - Manchester United.
The outlandish claim comes from the pages of Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy and Talksport says that the striker's agent - Mino Raiola - has "offered the Italian to the Old Trafford club as he bids to end Balotelli's nightmare spell at Liverpool".
Jose Mourinho worked with Balotelli at Inter Milan a few seasons ago and apparently Raiola, who brokered the transfer of Paul Pogba from Juventus to United earlier this month, is quietly confident he can "convince" Mourinho to reunite with the volatile Balotelli. That could be a tall order given that Mourinho described the Italian as "unmanageable" when they were at Inter.
Elsewhere and the Daily Star says that Klopp "faces frustration" in his pursuit of Bruno Martins Indi. The Porto centre-back has been trailed by the Liverpool boss for most of the summer but the Star - passing on a report from Turkish outlet Milliyet - says that Besiktas are on the brink of sealing a deal for the veteran blocker. Porto and Besiktas have apparently agreed a fee for Indi and all that remains is for the player to have his wage demands met.
Liverpool transfer news: Benteke to Palace, Danny Ings to follow
Liverpool have reached agreement with Crystal Palace for Christian Benteke, reports The Guardian, which also claims that the Reds have "opened the door for Danny Ings to depart Anfield".
The Belgian frontman has long been linked with a move from Merseyside after flopping since arriving from Aston Villa last summer. Now the Guardian confirms the news that the two clubs "have settled on a fee of £27m plus £5m in add-ons" for Benteke.
The Eagles have announced they'll be holding a press conference this morning, and it's expected they will confirm that Benteke is now a Palace player. As for Ings, the Guardian says Jurgen Klopp is prepared to let him leave in search of regular game after concluding he isn't a part of his plans this season. Ings signed last summer from Burnley but suffered a cruciate ligament injury only half a dozen games into his Anfield career and has never fully recovered his form.
Meanwhile Rennes have joined Liverpool and Leicester City in the race to sign Brazil star Luan. Talksport report that the frontman, who netted 17 goals for Gremio last season and he is will be playing against Germany in tomorrow's Olympic final, is wanted by several clubs with the Reds in pole position to land the 23-year-old. French broadcaster says Rennes are about to table a bid but it's believed that the South American sharpshooter prefers a move to England.
Liverpool transfer news: No Benteke deal, Reds chase Joe Hart
Crystal Palace have failed in their latest bid to bring unwanted Liverpool striker Christian Benteke to London, with Talksport revealing that the Eagles "have seen a new £30m bid" for the Reds forward knocked back.
But that knock back might not be the end of the matter. Talksport says that the Eagles "are still interested" in signing the out-of-favour Belgian and are likely to make a bigger offer between now and the end of the month when the transfer window closes.
It's no secret that Liverpool gaffer Jurgen Klopp doesn't rate the former Aston Villa striker but the club will not sanction his exit "until they receive their £30m valuation in full". Palace's opening bid was in the region of £25m, and the latest offer is £23m up front and a further £7m in add-ons. That's still not good enough for Liverpool, who paid Aston Villa £32.5m last year, and they are demanding £30m in its entirety before they let Benteke empty his Anfield locker.
Meanwhile, there are rumours that Liverpool could join the hunt for Joe Hart who seems set to quit Manchester City after being unexpectedly dropped by Pep Guardiola for the first two games of the season. Sky Sports claims that Everton and Liverpool will do battle for the England keeper who has no intention of spending the season warming the bench at City.
Liverpool transfer news: Fabio Coentrao to replace Moreno
Still on a high from their thrilling 4-3 defeat of Arsenal on Sunday, Liverpool are now plotting an audacious move for Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is determined to bolster his back-four before the end of the transfer window, reports the Daily Star, which claims that his hunt has taken on added urgency after his usual left back, Alberto Moreno, laboured badly against the Gunners.
The one obstacle to making a move for Coentrao, says the Star, is the injury that has sidelined the 28-year-old for several weeks. It's believed Klopp wants to make sure it's not a long term injury before making Real an offer, but the Daily Telegraph says a loan move is likely with the Portuguese player eager to leave Real for a club where he'll get more game time.
However, Klopp has been forced to accept defeat in his pursuit of Mahmoud Dahoud, for the time being at least, after Borussia Monchengladbach rejected a £25m offer for the midfielder, reports The Sun.
"Kop chiefs made a move for the midfielder over the weekend — but were told to not bother coming back with an improved offer," says the paper. "Yet Liverpool could land the 20-year-old German next summer when he will be entering the final year of his current contract."
Liverpool transfer news: Sakho exit, Benteke deal collapses
Anfield bad boy Mamadou Sakho could soon be an ex-Liverpool player. That's the claim in the Daily Star, which says Turkish outfit Besiktas are eyeing up the 26-year-old centre-back.
It's believed that Besiktas are ready to table an £18m bid for the defender, which is likely to be accepted by Jurgen Klopp. The Liverpool boss has had his fair share of difficulties with Sakho of late, with the Frenchman suspended at the end of last season for failing a drugs test, and then sent home from Liverpool's summer tour of the USA "after repeatedly breaking club rules".
Liverpool paid Paris Saint-Germain £18m when they signed Sakho in 2013 so selling him on for the same sum would represent a good bit of business considering his disciplinary lapses.
Elsewhere and the Mirror claims that Crystal Palace have "given up" on signing Christian Benteke because his price tag is too high. The Londoners were linked with the Liverpool loafer earlier in the summer but according to the Mirror Palace are now looking at signing Saido Berahino from West Brom because they can't afford Benteke's £32.5m fee.
Liverpool transfer news: Battle for Paredes and El Ghazi
As Liverpool prepare to kick off their Premier League season against Arsenal on Sunday, they've received some bad news from the Daily Express, which claims that Leicester have edged ahead of them in the race to sign Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes.
The Argentine has been on Jurgen Klopp's radar for months, and his interest strengthened when he learned of Roma's willingness to sell. However, the 22-year-old, who has also been tailed by Manchester City and Monaco, is now close to agreeing terms with the Foxes.
Apparently Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri "is keen to secure a deal and the club are preparing an £18.9m bid".
However, the Reds have apparently joined the race for Ajax winger Anwar el Ghazi. Picking up on reports in Europe the Liverpool Echo declares: "The Reds will do battle with Lazio and Wolfsburg over the 21-year-old, who scored 11 Eredivisie goals last season."
The fee would be around £15m, adds the paper
Meanwhile the Daily Mail says that the Reds "are set to sign former Barcelona defender Juanma after he impressed on trial". The 19-year-old left-back has won over manager Jurgen Klopp ever since arriving at Anfield in July "and will sign subject to a medical".
The teenager, whose full name is Juan Manuel Garcia, can play at left-back and centre-back and it's this versatility that has caught the eye of Klopp.
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