22 August 2014 16:28
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has refused to comment on speculation Mario Balotelli is on the verge of signing for the club.
The Milan frontman has reportedly flown to Merseyside for a medical after the sides were said to have agreed a fee.
Rodgers “categorically” ruled out signing Balotelli before Liverpool’s pre-season friendly against Milan earlier this month.
And the Northern Irishman – speaking with a wry smile on his face – insisted on Friday he was not in a position to talk about the potential transfer.
“I can categorically tell you that I can’t speak about it or anything until a player has signed,” he said.
“If we sign someone I will talk at length about it, but until then I can’t say anything.”
Former Manchester City striker Balotelli would arrive at the club with a reputation for off-the-field antics, but Rodgers claimed no player would unsettle his dressing room.
“We understand that sometimes you have to take a risk with people and normally, a lot of the time, if you take that risk you can get a reward for it,” he continued.
“Every club will have a code of conduct. We have a fantastic environment here and a great culture.
“Over the last two years that has been something very important to create and there will be nothing that will shake that.
“We’ve got a real learning environment here for players and, as you’ve seen, lots of players have improved and developed and that will continue.”
Liverpool face Balotelli’s former club Manchester City in the Premier League on Monday, with Lazar Markovic set to come into the matchday squad for the first time, while Adam Lallana remains sidelined with a knee injury.
Balotelli will not be eligible to play at the Etihad Stadium as the deadline for new players to be registered ahead of this round of fixtures has passed.