By Emma Sanders

Mario Balotelli has urged Mamadou Sakho to leave Liverpool in January and join him at Nice, as the centre-back continues to be ignored at Liverpool.

Sakho has not played for the first team since April and has been training with the academy this season following a fall-out with Jurgen Klopp in the summer.

He was linked with a number of clubs in August but it is believed Sakho turned them down in order to fight for his place at the club, despite Klopp suggesting he had no future.

“I speak with him from time to time. I said to him: ‘What a waste, a player like you is not playing,” Balotelli said, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.

“He has to leave. I said to him: ‘If you want, come to Nice’. I am going to speak to him about it. In January, it would be good.”

The French centre-back was sent home from the pre-season tour of America by Klopp due to his bad attitude and poor timekeeping and has not played this season.

Balotelli, who joined Nice in the summer after his £16 million move to Anfield failed miserably, has urged his former teammate to make a return to France.

The former Manchester City striker has re-found his form again and appears to be enjoying football with Nice, making nine appearances so far.

Balotelli has scored seven goals for the French club, which is three more than his total tally in 28 games for Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers.

In other Liverpool news, these are the stats which reveal why the Reds are top of the Premier League table.