Mario Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola has launched a scathing attack on Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, claiming the German treated the player like a “piece of s***” before he joined Nice on a free transfer.
Balotelli was forced to train with the reserves before completing a move to Nice to finally end his nightmare spell at the Reds, where he scored only four times in 28 appearances.
And Raiola feels the way Balotelli was treated by Klopp was out of order, claiming even Liverpool’s hierarchy disagreed with how the ex-Borussia Dortmund boss dealt with his client.
“In the end, the higher-ups at Liverpool admitted that Klopp was wrong [to send Balotelli to train with the reserves],” the agent told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I’m not trying to judge him as a coach – although, for me, he’s not a good coach – but he didn’t understand that Balotelli is, whatever else, a person.
“Mario has been exemplary. He never complained about training alone. To say that it was wrong of Klopp would be an understatement; he was a piece of s*** about it.”
While Balotelli has endured a torrid couple of seasons, Raiola feels Nice are justified in signing the Italian and has tipped the former Manchester City striker to recapture his form with the Ligue 1 side.
“It’s normal to consider him a risk for Nice because he has not met expectations over the last two seasons,” he said.
“From that point of view, it’s a gamble, but I’d always take that gamble.
“If you’re lucky, you win the league. If it goes well, you’re in the top five. If it goes wrong, oh well.
“Whoever has the TV rights to Ligue 1 should give a bonus to Nice. Without Ibra, this league has lost at least 50 per cent of its value.
“With Mario, it recovers at least 30% because he is a talented star, hoping that this year it finally comes good. If he stays fit, he’ll score 20 goals.”