Brendan Rodgers says Mario Balotelli's Liverpool future is up to the Italian

The 24-year-old scored just four times for the Reds last season, and Liverpool have been determined in their attacking reinforcements this summer.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been up front with the media about the future of Italian striker Mario Balotelli, according to BBC Sport quotes.

The Reds completed the signing of Christian Benteke from Aston Villa yesterday for what BBC Sport say is a fee of £32.5 million, the second highest figure they've ever paid out after Andy Carroll's move from Newcastle in 2011, and it means that Liverpool now have nearly enough strikers for two teams at Melwood.

When asked whether 24-year-old Balotelli will be part of the squad next year, Rodgers said in no uncertain terms that that depends on the forward.

"I'm not sure, that will entirely be up to Mario," the Liverpool boss told BBC Sport on the club's tour in Australia.

"Mario is obviously not on tour but working hard and training well with a number of other players at Melwood.

"He is working hard to get fit and we will see when the season begins."

Alongside Balotelli and Benteke are Daniel Sturridge, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert, as well as fellow new arrivals Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings.

Lambert and both Italian strikers are thought to be available to leave the club, with all three players struggling to contribute goals last season. But former Milan man Balotelli was the most expensive acquisition of those three, and is arguably the most talented even he is also the most unpredictable.

The Reds may struggle to recoup the money they paid for the Italy international, but with Balotelli's enigmatic personality comes the possibility, however unlikely it looks right now, that he will begin to make headlines for the right reasons once again, which is what the Northern Irishman means when he says the player's future is in his own hands.

Or, Rodgers is just acting with decency while privately Liverpool look to offload the ex Manchester City frontman to whoever will take him.

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