This time last week, Daniel Sturridge was still recovering from injury yet the transfer rumour mill had Liverpool open to selling all three of the club's fit strikers. The Rickie Lambert to Crystal Palace story was done in by new manager Alan Pardew himself, and now Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has nixed any possibility of Mario Balotelli joining his club on loan.
"I think this is a made up story," Allegri told Italian TV station RAI. "Balotelli has done very well with me but he belongs to Liverpool and he is not a player that can arrive at Juventus."
Well that clears that up then. Allegri managed Balotelli during their time at AC Milan together, so even the laziest of transfer rumours were bound to make that connection eventually. Next up: a third reunion with father figure Roberto Mancini and a second stay at Inter Milan!
Although Balotelli has clearly struggled to make his mark thus far in Liverpool's season, a loan after less than five months on Merseyside seems harsh even by football standards. His manager, the upstanding Mino Raiola, isn't concerned that his client hasn't yet settled at Liverpool, though.
"Decisions are judged at the time when they are made," Raiola told RAI. "In the summer, it was right for Balotelli to leave Milan and I would do it again. Mario has gone to the best league in the world. Now he is not doing well at Liverpool for different reasons but Mario is calm and he is working to return to be in top condition. I do not regret this transfer and Mario's departure from Milan."