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Souness: Balotelli a huge risk

Graeme Souness believes signing Mario Balotelli is a risk Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers does not need to take.

The Reds are set to sign the controversial Italy striker in a 16m deal from AC Milan, sealing the return of a player whose previous time in the Premier League was littered with disciplinary problems.

During a two-and-a-half-year stay at Manchester City, Balotelli was sent off four times and picked up 23 yellow cards, whilst clashing several times with then manager Roberto Mancini.

Writing in the Sunday Times newspaper, former Liverpool manager and player Souness said: "It's an enormous gamble by Rodgers.

"And it’s a gamble I don't think he needs to take because he has a very strong group of players.

"The harmony looks good but he may find, like every previous manager of Balotelli, that he will spend more time talking about him, spending time with him and defending him than he will the rest of the group put together.

"At times Balotelli doesn't seem to enjoy football. Big teams can do without people who pick and choose when they will have a go. It's a high-risk signing and I wouldn't want him."

Balotelli is not expected to complete his deal in time to feature in Liverpool's trip to Manchester City, which is live on Monday Night Football.

But when he does, Balotelli will become Liverpool’s ninth signing of the current transfer window as the Merseyside club look to move on from the loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.

The Reds have captured Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren from Southampton, as well as Emre Can, Lazar Markovic, Divock Origi, Javier Manquillo and Alberto Moreno.

Manchester City v Liverpool is live on Sky Sports 1HD on Monday from 7.00pm.