Liverpool earn £50,000 of £16m transfer fee back after over 750 Balotelli shirt sales

Liverpool's signing of Mario Balotelli has already given back to the Reds after the club sold £50,000 worth of Balotelli shirts.

After the sale of striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona this summer, Liverpool needed to bring in a replacement - and it seemed only natural when manager Brendan Rodgers swooped to bring another talented but potential headache to the club in Mario Balotelli, signing the AC Milan star for just £16m.

Balotelli was the most high profile of a number of new signings for Liverpool this summer, and the controversial former Manchester City star is one of the most commercially marketable players around given his reputation for being one of football's bad boys.

Liverpool don't exactly need to recoup any of the £16m outlay, but chief executive Ian Ayre revealed today that the club have made £50,000 back on the deal because of the shirt sales involved with Balotelli's arrival.

"Liverpool had success and opportunities to develop in the past & didn’t take them. That won’t happen again," said Ayre. "Having the right people and trust allows the club to maximise signings like Balotelli, leading to £50,000 shirt sales."

Announcing how many shirts have been sold of a certain player is something of a new fad, and Real Madrid have already been caught out with it. Reports this summer suggested that the club's signature of James Rodriguez had miraculously sold 345,000 shirts with his name on the back, but this was later proved to be false - with the figure closer to 900.

Figuring that a Balotelli shirt costs £65, that works out to just over 750 sales - not that far off what Real sold with James - and once again proving that Liverpool are poised to mix it up with the big boys of European football once again.

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