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Liverpool Reportedly Have Striker in Waiting as Balotelli Backup

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The deal for Mario Balotelli is yet to go through, and Liverpool have Samuel Eto'o in waiting in the event a deal for the Italian striker doesn't go through. Maybe.

Julian Finney

What we know is that Mario Balotelli has arrived in Liverpool and spent most of the afternoon and evening at Melwood, where he's supposedly completed the first part of his medical. He will complete part two of the saga tomorrow, according to Andy Hunter in the Guardian, as well as sign off on a significant pay decrease--widely quoted as 50% before performance and behaviorally-based incentives, which is still quite a bit and leaves him with a pittance of around £100k per week--in order to agree terms on a long-term deal. Brendan Rodgers will also be there to perform a mind meld on Balotelli to make sure he's not going to sabotage his team's morale.

What we also might know--or at least some folks think they know--is that a move for Samuel Eto'o isn't completely off, as both Hunter and John Cross in the Mirror are claiming that Liverpool have the Cameroonian in some sort of transfer holding pattern in case Rodgers deems the Balotelli deal to be too risky. Eto'o has reportedly completed a medical already and discussed terms for a contract with representatives from Liverpool, who traveled to Paris as part of the most convoluted deal since Javier Manquillo's contract was negotiated.

James Pearce from the Echo isn't as confident on the Eto'o news as the others, however, noting that there is no further interest in the former Chelsea, Inter, and Barcelona forward. It seems clear that Liverpool won't be going after both, however, as was rumored earlier in the day. It's either Balotelli or Eto'o to add to Rodgers' ranks up front, and if tomorrow's face-to-face meeting goes well, it will assuredly be Balotelli.

Until it's not, and then Wilfried Bony will come back into play as Eto'o's backup. We think.

**Update: Just kidding, Samuel.**