Klopp responds to attack from super agent, didn't isolate Balotelli
By Alex Taylor
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has responded to Mino Raiola ’s comments after the super agent spoke-out following Mario Balotelli’s Anfield departure this summer.
Raiola, who represents a number of high-profile players around Europe, launched a verbal attack on Klopp shortly after Balotelli’s free-transfer to Nice was confirmed in August.
“I’m not trying to judge him as a coach,” Raiola originally told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, quoted by The Livepool Echo. “Although, for me, he’s not a good coach – but he didn’t understand that Balotelli is, whatever else, a person.”
Mario has been exemplary. He never complained about training alone. To say that it was wrong of Klopp would be an understatement. He was a piece of s*** about it.”
The maverick centre-forward endured a turbulent two years in Merseyside and spent last season on loan with Italian giants AC Milan after being frozen out at Liverpool.
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The former Inter Milan star has scored just seven goals in his last two seasons but now has an opportunity to reinvigorate his career in France.
Klopp played down the verbal attack after being asked about Raiola’s comments at the press conference before the Leicester game on Saturday.
“I didn’t isolate him [Balotelli],” Klopp said, as quoted by The Liverpool Echo.
Klopp went on to dismiss the remarks as irrelevant. “I know him. [Smiles] That’s all. I’m not interested. It’s part of the business.
“It’s all good. It’s a free world, he can say what he wants.”
Liverpool have made several personnel changes to their front line in recent weeks as Christian Benteke was also moved on. He joined Crystal Palace for £32million after Sadio Mane arrived from Southampton.
The summer transfer dealing leaves the Reds with Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino, Danny Ings and Mane as their chief attacking threats this season.
Raiola also manages Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Manchester United as well as Everton forward Romelu Lukaku.