Phil Thompson believes Liverpool will sell Mario Balotelli this month.

Liverpool legend Phil Thompson is convinced the Merseysiders will sell Italian striker Balotelli before the end of the January transfer window if Daniel Sturridge is set for first team action.

The former Manchester City and AC Milan striker hasn’t scored a Premier League goal since he joined Brendan Rodgers' side in the summer and has only found the net twice in 18 appearances for the Reds.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Phil said: “I think they need to change things up and we need a bit more experience.

"We still need another striker. If you pin me down regarding Balotelli, he’s been in and out of squads - sometimes not even making the substitutes' bench.

“To me, I would think if there’s an offer there for him from another club, then they will take it, as long as Sturridge is ready to come back.”

He continued: “When Sturridge returns, he will quite rightly be in this side.

"What you’ve seen when Sterling goes up front is pace, and pace worries centre-backs. Balotelli and Lambert don’t run in behind the defenders, as Sterling does. So when you have him and Daniel in the side, like last year - you have two players to worry about.

“But when you’ve had an injury that has occurred before, then you have to handle with care. It’s when Brendan Rodgers and his medical staff think it’s the right time for him to come back. Whether he gets 20 minutes against Bolton, or 20 minutes against Chelsea in the second leg to try and ease him into it.

“It will be difficult because I believe this is a chronic injury and I think it has to be handled with kid gloves. What we - at Liverpool - don’t want is it to get worse, because then he’ll probably need an operation.”


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