Mario Balotelli set to headline list of Liverpool discards

Nice appear prepared to take the same gamble that Brendan Rodgers did in 2014

Mario Balotelli is set to join Nice before Wednesday night’s transfer deadline. Photograph: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Mario Balotelli is set to join Nice before Wednesday night’s transfer deadline. Photograph: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

 

Liverpool misfit Mario Balotelli is edging closer to a departure as negotiations with Ligue 1 side Nice continue.

The Italy international has been in talks with the French club since last week and with the transfer window closing tomorrow the expectation is that deal will get done.

It will bring to an end a miserable spell at Anfield where he featured for just one campaign having been signed for £16million by former manager Brendan Rodgers.

Balotelli scored just four goals in 28 appearances and was farmed back out to AC Milan on loan last season but he returned this summer having been told he has no future.

A host of clubs have turned down the chance to sign the occasionally troublesome striker but Nice appear prepared to take the same gamble Rodgers did in 2014.

With manager Jurgen Klopp having done most of his buying early in the current window, it is understood that all the activity leading up to the deadline will be out-goings.

Winger Lazar Markovic has not featured in any match day squad since returning from last season’s loan spell with Fenerbahce.

The 22-year-old Serbia international is keen to secure a loan within the UK and has been linked with SkyBet Championship side Newcastle.

Liverpool are also actively seeking a club to take centre-back Mamadou Sakho on loan.

The France defender has turned down Stoke and West Brom after being sent home from the club’s pre-season tour of the United States after Klopp expressed concerns about his attitude and instances of poor timekeeping.

It is understood Sakho has been told it is in his best interests to leave on a temporary basis in order to save his Liverpool and international career.

Klopp does not want to sell the 26-year-old at the moment as he still rates him as a player but the defender has to prove his fitness and professionalism at another club.

Sakho has fallen well down the Anfield pecking order — Klopp brought in Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan this summer and both have already played in competitive matches — because of his attitude.

Fellow defender Andre Wisdom is set to join Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg on a temporary basis but Liverpool have turned down loan bids for striker Danny Ings.

The 24-year-old has yet to feature as he works his way back to full fitness after last season’s serious knee injury but Klopp plans to introduce him gradually back into first-team football.

Liverpool do have an interest in Borussia Dortmund forward Christian Pulisic but it became apparent early on any deal would not be feasible in this window.

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