Liverpool close in on Christian Benteke, and flop duo heading for exit

Brendan Rodgers looks set to receive a triple boost in the coming weeks, with the arrival of Christian Benteke and both the potential departures of Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini.

According to the Daily Star, the Reds are closing in on the £32.5m signing of the Aston Villa forward. However, the Star report that the negotiations between the two clubs will mean that he is unlikely to take part in any of their pre-season tour.

The news has divided supporters of the Merseyside club. While the Belgian has become a proven goalscorer in the Premier League, his injury record, as well as the fact that he is yet to play for a top club, has left a major question mark over the price tag.

However, the news of Balotelli’s possible departure is unlikely to be met with much in the way of arguments. The Star report that Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero has confirmed that the Serie A side are interested in making a bid for the 24-year-old.

“At Sampdoria he would have a great opportunity to relaunch his career in a club where he’d have less pressure,” he said.

“I’m putting some money aside to be able to buy him,” he added.

The former Manchester City man has failed to change his reputation since his move last summer. He only managed one top flight goal, and found himself completely dropped for Jerome Sinclair for the clash with Chelsea late on in the season.

While their campaign ended in abject fashion at Stoke, the game at Stamford Bridge represented an opportunity to stay in the hunt for a Champions League place. The omission from a potentially season-defining game, with an untested youngster in his place, highlighted Rodgers’ complete lack of faith in the Italian.

Similarly, Borini’s exit is unlikely to be mourned on Merseyside. According to the Daily Express, former Everton manager David Moyes is reportedly keen to bring the forward to Real Sociedad.

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