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 By PA Sport

Rodgers rules out Mario Balotelli bid

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted he will not be signing Mario Balotelli this summer.

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Rodgers showered praise on Balotelli last week, which led to speculation he could sign the AC Milan front man. The Liverpool boss has so far signed Rickie Lambert from Southampton to help plug the gap left by Luis Suarez's departure for Barcelona, but he could still make a move for another striker.

He has also signed Lille striker Divock Origi for 10 million pounds but he will spend next season back at the Ligue 1 club on loan.

There still seems to be a hole in Rodgers' forward line but Balotelli won't be moving to Anfield.

"I can categorically tell you Mario Balotelli will not be at Liverpool,'' Rodgers told a news conference on the eve of Liverpool's game against Manchester United in Miami.

"In my last press conference I was asked a question about Mario Balotelli and I talked about what a talent he was and what an excellent player he was. And the next day it was wrote as if we were signing him, which doesn't surprise me..

"I just gave my perception of him as a player. It shouldn't be transmitted in to us signing the player.''

Rodgers has used the 75 million he received for Suarez to fund the signings of Lambert, Origi, Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Lazar Markovic.

The Northern Irishman continues to be linked to more players though, the latest two being Sevilla star Alberto Moreno and Atletico Madrid defender Javier Manquillo.

Rodgers would not name any of his targets, but he admitted he is still in the market for new additions.

"We still have a few bits and pieces we would like to do to solidify the group, but there's no names or definite signings yet,'' he added.

He also believes that bringing in three players from Southampton -- Lambert, Lallana and Lovren -- could make all of his new faces gel quicker.

"I think the advantage of taking them is that they understand how we work," Rodgers said.  "All the players we have brought in were done so because of their profile.

"Southampton played in a really offensive, aggressive way and the players that have come in will adapt that little bit quicker to that.

"There are obviously pressures. If you're playing for Liverpool, there's a different adaptation altogether, but in terms of the football style, that will make it easier.

"I think if you have three players coming in from the same club, of course it always helps on that first day walking into the changing room. Ultimately they'll gain respect because they're good players, and that's why they're at Liverpool. Hopefully they can show that over their career here."

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