Wednesday Kickoff: Balotelli close to shock Liverpool move; Di Maria, Khedira reject extensions; and more

Wednesday Kickoff: Balotelli close to shock Liverpool move; Di Maria, Khedira reject extensions; and more

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Wednesday Kickoff: Balotelli close to shock Liverpool move; Di Maria, Khedira reject extensions; and more

MarioBalotelliACMilan2-Atalanta2014SerieA (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

It looks like Liverpool has found their replacement for Luis Suarez.

According to multiple reports in both England and Italy, Liverpool and AC Milan have agreed a transfer fee for one Mario Balotelli, the mercurial Italian National Team forward. If the transfer goes through it would mean Balotelli’s return to the English Premier League for the first time since Jan. 2013, when he left Manchester City for Milan.

The reports state that Liverpool and AC Milan have agreed on a fee of around €20 million and all that’s left is for Balotelli to give the green light for the move to go ahead. Balotelli reportedly told teammates and journalists at Milan’s training ground on Thursday that it was his final day with the club, pointing to his return back to England.

Earlier this week it was reported that Liverpool were interested in signing Balotelli on loan this season but Milan rejected that offer and said they’d only discuss a permanent transfer.

Although an incredible talent, Balotelli has fallen on hard times recently for both club and country. Last season at Milan, Balotelli got off to a hot start but scored a total of 18 times in 41 games in all competitions, a strike rate lower than everyone had expected.

Here are some more stories to start off your Thursday:

DI MARIA, KHEDIRA HEADING OUT THE DOOR

In a rare moment of honesty, Real Madrid manager revealed to members of the press that Angel Di Maria and Sami Khedira could be on their way out of the club.

At a press conference ahead of the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup, Ancelotti claimed that both Di Maria and Khedira have rejected new contracts, and Di Maria specifically has asked to leave Real Madrid.

Di Maria has been subject to transfer speculation for much of the past year and seemed very close to joining Paris Saint-Germain this summer before the transfer talk cooled due to Financial Fair Play regulations.

Khedira meanwhile is entering the final year of his contract, and with both Arsenal and Bayern Munich interested in the German international, its expected that Real Madrid sell him now before losing him on a free transfer next summer.

CRYSTAL PALACE CONTROVERSY CONTINUES

Crystal Palace were just moments away from hiring Malky Mackay until they stumbled upon some information submitted to the FA.

The FA received a series of documents from a law firm hired by Cardiff City, outlining alleged racist language used between Mackay and now former Crystal Palace director of football, Iain Moody. The pair are now under investigation by the FA and Moody announced his resignation on Thursday morning from his position.

Crystal Palace have withdrawn their offer for Mackay and as things stand, interim manager Keith Millen is expected to manage the team for the second week in a row since the surprise departure of Tony Pulis just three days before the start of the season.

QUICK KICKS

Man United have completed the signing of Marcos Rojo on a five-year contract, paying Sporting Lisbon €20 million in the process. (REPORT)

Edin Dzeko has signed a new four-year contract at Manchester City. (REPORT)

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has extended his contract through 2018. (REPORT)

Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta is set to miss the next two weeks with a badly sprained ankle. (REPORT)

New Netherlands head coach Guus Hiddink has recalled Gregory van der Wiel a recall to the National Team for a friendly match against Italy and a EURO 2016 qualifier against the Czech Republic. (REPORT)

Swiss international goalkeeper Diego Benaglio has retired from international football at the age of 31. (REPORT)

Man United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has suffered ankle ligament damage after being injured during training this week. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? How do you see Balotelli performing in Liverpool? Do you see him starting alongside Sturridge? Where do you see Di Maria moving to?

Share your thoughts below.

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