"It's make or break" - Balotelli's agent fires warning over £16m Liverpool transfer

Mario Balotelli Italy

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli is closing in on a move to Liverpool - and his agent says that it's the forward's last chance at success.

Balotelli, formerly of Manchester City, has been back in his native Italy with AC Milan since January 2013, scoring an impressive 30 goals in 54 games for the Rossoneri. Now, with Liverpool looking to snap up a replacement for now-Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, manager Brendan Rodger has lined up the Italian as the perfect alternative.

The controversial 24-year-old has a list of misdemeanours to his name after an eventful career so far, including setting fireworks off inside his own home and throwing darts at youth team players whilst at Manchester City - and that off-field attitude has seen him fall out with a number of managers, including Jose Mourinho and Roberto Mancini.

Rodgers is clearly confident in his ability to control Balotelli having already deal with the even more controversial Suarez, and the players agent, Mino Raiola, says Balotelli could be drinking in the last chance saloon upon his move to Anfield.

"Will he ever be a leader? It’s not mandatory that every player has to be a leader," said Raiola. "I sought out for him a team where he can be an important element without being asked to be a leader. Liverpool have Steven Gerrard. There Mario will be protected and can give his best. Now it’s up to him."

"Another flop is inadvisable...not everyone is born to be a leader and a good striker is not always a leader either. Mario needs to get this pressure off his shoulders. He must feel free to score goals and that’s it."

"At the top level, yes," added Raiola when asked if this is Balotelli's last chance. "It's either make or break now. If it goes wrong? Mario is 24 years old. He no longer has the alibi of his age."

With bags of talent but a questionable attitude, this could well be Balotelli's last chance. More controversial incidents will eventually see him sold by Liverpool - just as Suarez was - and if that happens, few managers will be willing to take the gamble again.

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