By Tom Finn

August 24, 2014

Italian striker Mario Balotelli will return to Merseyside on Monday to sign a three-year contract with Liverpool effectively ending the Reds interest in Cameroonian international Samuel Eto’o.

The 24-year-old Balotelli was at Melwood on Friday to complete a medical before his £16 million move from AC Milan, following which he flew back home to Italy but is expected back in Liverpool on Monday where he will put pen to paper becoming manager Brendan Rodgers ninth signing of the summer.

Meanwhile when speaking to the Liverpool Echo the controversial striker’s agent Mino Raiola has said that Liverpool represents possible the last chance for his player to be able to have a career at one of Europe’s leading clubs.

“Mario played well for six or seven months, giving a decisive push for them to enter the Champions League,” said Raiola.

“But then you could see he is not ready to be a leader.

“Will he ever be a leader? It’s not mandatory that every player has to be a leader.

“I sought out for him a team where he can be an important element without being asked to be a leader. Liverpool has Steven Gerrard. There Mario will be protected and can give his best.

“Now it’s up to him. Another flop is inadvisable… Not everyone is born to be a leader and a good striker is not always a leader either.

“Mario needs to get this pressure off his shoulders. He must feel free to score goals and that’s it.”

Liverpool will play last season’s Premier League champions Manchester City on Monday night at the Etihad with Balotelli ineligible to play against his former club even after signing his new contract on Monday.