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Mario Balotelli Was Liverpool’s Second Choice Striker Signing Behind Lazio Star Keita Balde Diao

Reds wanted hotshot 19-year-old instead.

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Liverpool have apparently signed their second choice striker in Mario Balotelli this summer after being spurned in their advances for main option Keita Baldé Diao of Lazio, according to the Metro.

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Brendan Rodgers was forced to dip into the transfer market this summer for a new striker following the £75m sale of star man Luis Suarez to Spanish giants Barcelona.

However, it has now emerged that eventual replacement Mario Balotelli was the manager’s second choice!

According to Diao’s agent, Angelo Cascella, Liverpool made a £16million offer to lure the 19-year-old striker to Anfield but, after the deal was rejected by the Serie A outfit, The Reds instead opted to sign Balotelli from AC Milan for the same amount.

“Liverpool offered £16million for Keita during the summer, but Lazio rejected their proposal,” Cascella claimed.

It is believed that Lazio wanted somewhere closer to £24m for the teenage star, who has also been watched by Manchester United and Real Madrid over the past few months, but the asking price was far too high for the Anfield side to follow through with.

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