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Balotelli holds key to his future says Liverpool manager

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists Mario Balotelli's future lies in the player's own hands despite his omission from their pre-season tour.

Where will Balotelli be playing next season? Credit: PA

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."

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Balotelli staying with Liverpool - agent

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli will remain at the club next season, according to his agent Mino Raiola.

The Italy international's first season after a £16million move from AC Milan was a flop with just four goals - only one of which came in the Premier League - and he was top of a list of names the club reportedly wanted to offload this summer.

However, Raiola insists the 24-year-old is staying where he is.

Mario Balotelli had a mediocre season. Credit: PA

"We have talks with Liverpool and he will stay," he told Sky Sports.

"I spoke many times with the club and they were happy with his input as a professional."

Asked whether the striker and manager Brendan Rodgers had adapted to each other over the course of the season, Raiola added: "I think Mario did, I cannot talk for Brendan Rodgers.

"Obviously we're pretty confident it'll happen next year."

Balotelli posts on Instagram to reveal why he missed Liverpool's FA Cup clash

Mario Balotelli has taken to Instagram to provide proof that he had a fever.

The Italian striker missed Liverpool's 1-0 FA Cup quarter final win over Blackburn at Ewood Park and had come in for some criticism after not travelling with the team.

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Liverpool man tells critics to 'shut up' in strange video

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has told his critics to "shut up" in a bizarre video posted on his Instagram account.

Balotelli addressed his critics on Instagram. Credit: PA

The Italian forward has received widespread criticism for his performances since joining Liverpool in the summer following an unflattering return of four goals in 20 games, and just one in the Premier League.

Speaking directly into camera, the 24 year-old said:

Do you know me, did you ever talk to me personally? Do you know what I've been through in my life? You just saw me play football in the pitch, so man, shut up.

– @mb459

Balotelli growing as a person at Liverpool - agent

Brendan Rodgers is pushing Mario Balotelli harder than anyone has in his career, according to the striker's agent.

Balotelli has struggled for regular football at Liverpool, but has visibly improved in recent weeks, with Rodgers' trusting the Italian more.

Mario Balotelli has been given more game time recently. Credit: PA

"Right now, I think Mario has a very interesting development for his career," Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola told RMC.

"He has found a coach who asks of him things that had never been requested of him until now, including the discipline of running without the ball.

"This allows him to grow as a person and as a football player. He'll come out even stronger.

"He is proud of his team (Liverpool) and that is the most important."

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