Lille boss dismisses idea of Balotelli-Origi loan swap for Liverpool

Rene Girard has been discussing the future of Divock Origi to Belgian radio.

Liverpool again struggled at the weekend. They failed to score for the first time in the league away from home in a year as they were defeated by Newcastle United 1-0 at St James Park.

Brendan Rodgers has watched his side go from league contenders to battling for the Europa League places in just a matter of months.

Of course much of that has to do with the absence of Luis Suarez, who joined Barcelona for £75 million this summer and Daniel Sturridge, who is struggling with injury problems.

With that in mind there has been some calls from Liverpool fans to recall Divock Origi from his loan spell at Lille. Liverpool signed the Belgian striker for £15 million in the summer, but in order to rush through a deal they offered him back to Lille for a year.

In the meanwhile they signed Mario Balotelli. The £16 million striker is however struggling to find his best form in the Premier League.

The simple fact is Liverpool cannot just recall Origi. They struck a deal with the Ligue 1 side and according to their boss Rene Girard that deal will be honoured.

He told Belgian radio station RTBF that Origi is staying:

"It's only a rumour. There have been no approaches, as far as I know. It was agreed that Divock spend the year with us. There's no reason he should leave midway through the season. Us too [struggling for goals]- we really need him."

Origi has had a mixed start to the season with Lille. At the weekend he missed a penalty in an underwhelming performance, so perhaps he needs this extra year in France anyway - just to get ready for Premier League football.

But while on the radio Girard was also asked a sensational question. Could Liverpool swap Origi's loan for a similar one involving Mario Balotelli. The idea being they get a fresh face up front, Balo slams in the goals in Ligue 1 and Liverpool end up with two strikers hopefully in form at the start of next season (an idea!)

But Girard swiftly denied that this was even a possibility:

"The matter has never been raised."

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