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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists Mario Balotelli's future lies in the player's own hands despite his omission from their pre-season tour.
The Italy international was among a number of players, Jose Enrique and Fabio Borini included, who were left behind at the club's Melwood training base while the rest flew out for friendlies in Thailand, Australia and Malaysia.
After just four goals, only one of which came in the Premier League, in his debut season the £16m signing is top of the summer clear-out list.
"Mario is obviously not on tour but working hard and training well with a number of other players at Melwood," he told a press conference after arriving in Kuala Lumpur for Friday's game against a Malaysia XI.
Asked if Balotelli would still be a Liverpool player come the end of the transfer window, he added: "I'm not sure, that will entirely be up to Mario. "He is working hard to get fit and we will see when the season begins."
CITY XI: Caballero, Sagna, Kompany (C), Mangala, Clichy, Fernando, Zuculini, Garcia, Silva, Sterling, Iheanacho #cityontour
ROMA (4-3-3): De Sanctis; Florenzi, Manolas, Romagnoli, Torosidis; Pjanic, De Rossi, Uçan; Iturbe, Totti, Gervinho #RomaCity
Former Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling was named in Man City's starting line-up for today's International Champions Cup friendly against Roma.
The England youngster makes his debut in the Melbourne friendly for a City team also featuring captain Vincent Kompany and David Silva.
Sterling, 20, joined City for £49m last week, making him the world's most expensive player who is 21 years-old or younger.
The match against Roma kicks off at 11am UK time.
Raheem Sterling joined up with his new Manchester City team-mates on their pre-season tour of Australia on Thursday and captain Vincent Kompany believes the winger can help deliver them trophies in the coming years.
Silverware evaded Pellegrini's side in 2014-15 and their meek defence of the Premier League title saw them finish eight points behind eventual champions Chelsea.
But Kompany is hopeful that Sterling's acquisition can help bridge the gap when it comes to challenging for honours next term.
He told the club's official website:
It's massive for us. The biggest thing is that you've seen Sterling, especially the way he played the season before last, and he was one of the main reasons, along with (Luis) Suarez, that Liverpool played so well.
It became more difficult for them when Suarez left but what you will find is that he will have this kind of structure at City already - I mean, we've got Kun (Sergio Aguero) up front, we've got (Wilfried) Bony, we've got so many players who will be able to link up with him; we will be able to make him better as well.
We have great quality in the team but you can't compete nowadays if you don't improve every year.
Other teams improve, we need to improve and getting him puts us one step closer to being this team which can win trophies again - it's very important for us.
Brendan Rodgers has showered Roberto Firmino with praise during Liverpool's pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East.
The Reds boss was speaking to reporters in Brisbane today, and took the opportunity to deny that Liverpool's new Brazilian forward was recruited as a direct replacement for Raheem Sterling.
Instead, Rodgers focused on what makes Firmino such a special player in his own right, explaining to lfctour.com:
The flexibility of the player is important. He's an outstanding talent. He's got a wonderful touch and appreciation for the game, but the key when you watch him is the determination, how hard he works.
So he can play on either one of the sides, he can play through the middle, or he can play in behind. He's accustomed to European football so that should make the transition a little bit easier for him. But he's a talented player who wants to score a goal.
Brendan Rodgers has denied Brazilian new-boy Firmino was recruited in light of Raheem Sterling's summer departure, and claims there's "no need" for a direct replacement at Liverpool.
Sterling joined Liverpool's Premier League rivals Man City earlier this week in a deal worth £49m.
Brazilian international Firmino, who joined the Reds from Hoffenheim for £29m last month, had been touted as Sterling's like-for-like replacement, but this is something the club's manager denies.
Speaking to Liverpool's official website in Brisbane during their pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East, Rodgers said:
It's not so much [about] a direct replacement for Raheem, it's just about improving the squad. We've brought in a number of really good players and you add that to what we've already got and the balance in the team looks strong. There's not a need, I didn't feel, for a direct replacement for Raheem.