Mario Balotelli Joins Liverpool From AC Milan In Reported $26.5M Transfer

Mario Balotelli LiverpoolLadies and gentlemen, Mario Balotelli is in the building.

Balotelli officially joined Liverpool on Monday after finalizing a transfer from Italian club AC Milan, according to LiverpoolFC.com.

“I’m very happy,” Balotelli said. “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.”

Liverpool paid AC Milan £16 million ($26.5 million) for Balotelli, according to multiple reports. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said it was a good price for a player who has won titles in the Premier League, Serie A (Italian first division) and the UEFA Champions League.

“This transfer represents outstanding value for the club and I think we have done a really smart piece of business here,” Rodgers said, according to LiverpoolFC.com. “There is no doubting Mario’s ability; he is a world-class talent and someone who, for such a young age, has vast experience of playing at the very highest level.

“I am looking forward to working with him and helping him learn more, improve and progress as a player. I’m sure the supporters will make him feel very welcome.”

Balotelli is the Reds’ ninth signing of the summer 2014 transfer window. Balotelli will wear No. 45 at Liverpool and join Daniel Sturridge, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini on its strike-force.

Balotelli practiced on his own Monday and is expected to join the full group for training this week.

Balotelli won’t play against Manchester City on Monday but should be available to play against Tottenham on Aug. 31.

See our live blog of Balotelli’s transfer to Liverpool >>

Liverpool gains more than cash by selling Luis Suarez >>

Photo via LiverpoolFC.com

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