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Rumour Mongering: Mario Balotelli to Join Steven Gerrard in MLS?

It's another day and it's another Mario Balotelli story. Will our favourite penalty hogging rebel enjoy regular trips to Disneyland and share more fun Instagram pictures in the future?

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

With rumours of a hot Argentine striker shining in La Liga possibly headed to Liverpool in the summer, there will need to be outgoing movement to create space for fresh striking talent. Divock Origi will join Daniel Sturridge in the Liverpool squad next season as part of a set of strikers that will almost certainly look different to this season's struggling group.

At least two from Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini, and Rickie Lambert will leave in the summer, possibly all three. Aston Villa's generous offer for Lambert was accepted in the summer as Liverpool continued to borrow some of Chelsea's transfer window juju to compel a side to offer big money for a backup forward. Last summer, that juju was put to good effect to compel Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers to make offers for Fabio Borini. Both Lambert and Borini held firm but they will find it difficult to remain at the club if the Transfer Committee agrees that Liverpool need better options up front.

Mario Balotelli has been more impressive of late and has scored winning goals in the Premier League and Europa League. His input in the composed victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup was also a defining one, as his free-kick was parried into the path of an onrushing Adam Lallana. The Italian's last appearance was in the disappointing defeat on penalties in Turkey where his link-up play was one of the better parts of a fruitless night for his side in attack. As he trudged off the pitch after being subbed, it was clear that Brendan Rodgers doesn't quite rate or appreciate Balotelli. Yes, he's probably moved ahead of Lambert and Borini in the pecking order, but he's still seen as a less suitable option as a lone forward than Raheem Sterling.

It appears inevitable that the mercurial frontman will move on this summer, but will the MLS be a destination that his agent Mino Raiola would even sanction? The player turns 25 in August and would almost certainly be able to secure a move back to Italy after Liverpool's season finishes in May. The UK's Express newspaper carried the reports in a more coherent fashion than elsewhere, but this is probably part of the rumour churn as a player's exit is being possibly planned by his representatives.

And reports today claim that American giants Orlando are keen to bring Balotelli across the Atlantic to link up with former Milan teammate Kaka.

That's a bold claim to make. A more reasonable one would be that Balotelli probably doesn't fit what Rodgers wants to do, and the manager looks likely to sanction a move in the summer. The former Manchester City striker's work ethic, pressing, and attitude hasn't been a problem this season, but the same cannot be said about the number of goals scored and the attacking movement compared to other players in the team.

Whatever happens in the summer, it is hoped that Mario Balotelli continues to improve, score some goals, and create some happy memories for his 2014/15 scrapbook.

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