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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Mario Balotelli is not leaving Liverpool this summer, says agent Mino Raiola

Mario Balotelli's agent has told Sky Sports that the striker will not be leaving Liverpool this summer.

Balotelli, 24, joined Liverpool from AC Milan in a £16 million deal last summer, but scored just one Premier League goal as Brendan Rodgers' side finished sixth in the table.

The Italy international has struggled to win a starting role at Anfield this season and has been repeatedly linked with a move away from Merseyside.

But when asked whether Balotelli would be leaving this summer, his agent Mino Raiola told Sky Sports: "We have talks with Liverpool and he will stay. 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.''

Despite the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona last summer and numerous injury problems for Daniel Sturridge, Balotelli made just 16 league appearances for Liverpool, starting on 12 occasions.

The forward scored four goals in 26 appearances in all competitions, and was handed a 28-day driving ban earlier in May for speeding.

Rodgers called on Balotelli to improve his work rate in late February, but the Italy forward made just four more league appearances from then on due to a combination of injury problems and Rodgers' tactics.

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