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Liverpool confirm Balotelli signing

ESPN staff
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Mario Balotelli has scored more goals than anyone else in Serie A over the last 18 months © Getty Images
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Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Mario Balotelli from AC Milan for £16 million.

Balotelli has signed a "long-term" deal at the club and takes manager Brendan Rodgers' spending on summer transfers past the £130m mark. He becomes Liverpool's ninth signing as they prepare for a return to the Champions League.

He will wear the No.45 shirt, the same squad number he wore at Manchester City and AC Milan.

Balotelli told the club's official website: "I'm very happy. We've been talking about coming here and now I'm happy to be here. Liverpool are one of the best teams here in England and the football is very good here.

"It's a great team with young players, and that's why I came here."

Balotelli returns to the Premier League after a 20-month absence, having left City for the San Siro in January 2013. He developed a reputation for controversy during his time at the Etihad, something Liverpool have aimed to counter by inserting behavioural clauses into his contract.

The 24-year-old completed a medical on Friday after visiting Liverpool's Melwood training ground, but was in the stands for Monday's clash with defending Premier League champions Manchester City.

The former Inter Milan forward joined AC Milan from Manchester City for just over £16m in January 2013. He had cost City £24m when he arrived from Inter in 2010. Last season, he scored 14 goals in 30 league games for Milan, and no player has scored more goals in Serie A over the 18 months he has been playing in the division.

Rodgers will hope the fiery Balotelli can strike up a fruitful partnership with fellow striker Daniel Sturridge, whose time up front with former team-mate Luis Suarez yielded 52 league goals between them.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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