Phil Thompson has told Sky Sports that Liverpool would be expected to move Mario Balotelli on during the January transfer window if certain criteria are met.
The Italian striker has only been back in England for a matter of months following a switch from AC Milan in the summer of 2014.
The ex-Manchester City striker was acquired to help cover the loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, with Brendan Rodgers hoping that a productive partnership could be struck up with Daniel Sturridge.
Balotelli has, however, struggled for form while Sturridge has missed the vast majority of the campaign through injury.
He is closing on a comeback, and Thompson believes that could affect Liverpool’s thinking in the winter market.
The ex-defender feels that Rodgers would be prepared to move Balotelli on if a suitable offer is tabled and Sturridge shows that he is free of niggling knocks.
Thompson told Sky Sports News HQ on Tuesday: “He’s been in and out of squads, never mind just playing or being on the subs bench.
“I would think that if there was an offer there, and there has been talk about him maybe going back to Italy, I would think that Liverpool would accept that, as long as Daniel is ready to come back.”
Balotelli is still waiting on his first Premier League goal for Liverpool.
He has been restricted to just eight top-flight starts, and a further four appearances off the bench, with his competitive minutes starting to dwindle.
The likes of Fabio Borini and Raheem Sterling have been favoured in a central striking post over recent weeks, and the return of Sturridge will likely force him even further down the pecking order.