Liverpool to sell Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini as they plan to unveil THREE new strikers
By Merseyside correspondent Cam Downes
Liverpool will listen to offers for Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini this summer as they plan to overhaul their forward line.
Sources have told Football Insider that the Merseysiders are looking to offload three of their four senior strikers and bring in two new front men plus Divock Origi, who moves to Anfield in the close season after spending a year on loan at Lille.
Manager Brendan Rodgers and the club’s recruitment team are looking to recruit forwards who can make an immediate impact in the first team, even though the club have a policy of investing in youthful players who can be developed by the coaching staff. They want high energy front men who can adapt to Liverpool’s intense pressing game.
Given Daniel Sturridge’s chequered injury record, Rodgers does not want to be left short of proven strikers and Origi could be one of three coming in. Raheem Sterling has impressed as a stand-in spearhead in recent months but doubts over his future at the club have increased after contract talks were put on hold until the end of the season and Bayern Munich scouted him in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
Rodgers sanctioned a shock £16million move for Balotelli last summer but it has not paid off and the Italian has been a major disappointment, scoring a single Premier League goal and only four in total.
The 24-year-old will be allowed to leave the club, although the Merseysiders will struggle to find a buyer willing to match the price they paid last summer. A return to Italy is the most likely option for the former AC Milan and Inter Milan forward.
Lambert has started only nine matches since joining his boyhood club from Southampton and has performed creditably enough, even if three goals is a meagre return. He will be allowed to leave to a club willing to pay £4m.
Borini has scored just one goal after rejecting a deadline-day move to QPR last summer and is not in Liverpool’s plans beyond this season.