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Reports: Mario Balotelli to Juventus on Loan

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Mario Balotelli may be set for an early return to Italy.

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With rumours of potential outgoings for Lucas Leiva (silly) and Oussama Assaidi (profitable) gaining traction over the past day or so, it is unsurprising that another rumour has popped up. Mario Balotelli has struggled in his time on Merseyside for various reasons and is a possible high-profile exit in the January transfer window.

Liverpool have struggled for goals at various times this season, but appear to have found some momentum in recent weeks. The absence of Daniel Sturridge still hurts the side, and none of the other strikers in the squad have convinced in providing somewhat reliable depth in the position. Mario Balotelli has found himself on the bench when Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini have started in the absence of current number one 9.5, Raheem Sterling. The Italian is without a goal in the Premier League and has scored only twice in fifteen appearances.

Juventus were looking at a deal for Wesley Sneijder, but that deal has stumbled to a halt according to the Dutch international's agent. Enter Balotelli? Gary Jacob and Tony Barrett of the Times broke the story, and the potential deal is a loan until the end of the season with a £14 million option if Juventus decide to purchase the player. Massimiliano Allegri confirmed that he wants the player this month to boost his striking options for reigning Serie A champions Juventus.

We would like to recruit him, but we do not know if it's possible. Mario had a good season with me. Unfortunately he's built up a character outside the world of football and everyone talks about what he does off the pitch. All coaches love to lead the best players.  - Juventus head coach, Allegri

Mario Balotelli has not been a problem with his work rate, attitude, and professionalism. Doubts surround his suitability for what Rodgers wants from his forwards, but has the Italian international been played to his strengths? Will this also mean that Divock Origi will be the replacement for Balotelli, or can Liverpool fans expect further reinforcements up front and elsewhere?

This seems to be a potentially unfortunate development for a player who has the ability to make an impact for Liverpool FC.