By Alex Taylor

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has told Mario Balotelli that he must leave Anfield this summer.

The Italy international has been told face-to-face by his German manager that it is time to move on from Merseyside.

The former AC Milan forward joined the Reds in a £16million deal in August 2014 after being brought in to replace the prolific Luis Suarez, and now has less than a year remaining on his current deal.

“With a lot of players it is not the moment to talk of transfers as it could kill all talks by saying someone was 70 per cent to sign him or whatever,” Klopp told the Mirror.

“But I can talk of Mario because that one is obvious and I have spoken to him about this. When we have done the crossing, heading and stuff in training, he has been world class.

“But this is not a situation where he should be battling with other players like this for one position, so it’s clear we need a solution.”

Talks between the two parties were held on Tuesday and the Liverpool manager made it clear that the player needs to seek a move away from the club, in order to rediscover the form that once made him one of the world’s best strikers.

Since his arrival the 25-year-old has failed to live up to expectations, scoring just four goals in 28 appearances for the Reds.

The former Inter Milan star missed out on this summer’s European Championships after suffering another wayward season in front of goal, bagging just three goals and providing one assist in Serie A this season while on loan to AC Milan.

The maverick goal-scorer has since returned to Melwood to train under Jugen Klopp ahead of the new Premier League season but is now behind Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Danny Ings in the pecking order.

The centre-forward has enjoyed good spells in the Premier League before though, scoring 42 goals and notching seven assists in 93 appearance in all competitions in his three year spell with Manchester City.

Klopp has already been busy in the transfer window securing Sadio Mane, Joel Matip, Loris Karius and Marko Grujic, whose £5million transfer was agreed in January.

In other Liverpool news, Lazio’s versatile forward Keita Balde Diao has decided not to join his squad for pre-season, alerting Reds manager Jurgen Klopp.