Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli scored 30 goals in 54 appearances during his first spell with AC MilanGetty

Liverpool flop Mario Balotelli has expressed his delight at returning to AC Milan, claiming he "always hoped" he would return to the Serie A sleeping giants. The former Italy international completed a medical on 25 August ahead of an imminent announcement, less than one season after he moved to Merseyside in a deal worth £16m ($25.3m).

Brendan Rodgers had previously made it clear the striker was not in his plans for the season, forcing him to train apart from the youth team. Rodgers had invested heavily in his attack during the current transfer window, with Belgium international Christian Benteke and former Burnley hitman Danny Ings rolling up at Anfield – while Divock Origi returned to the club after a season on loan at Lille.

Balotelli was signed to fill the gap left by Luis Suarez's departure to Barcelona, but managed to score just one solitary EPL goal all season. However, having netted 30 in 54 appearances during his first spell with AC Milan, the Rossoneri are ready to give him a chance to prove himself once more in Serie A.

Balotelli has thanked Milan for the opportunity, hoping he can repay their confidence in him on the pitch.

"I'm happy to have returned," he told Milan's official website.

"I have little to say, just that I'm looking forward to train and prove my worth. I'm physically well – I just have to train with the squad. I have a lot of motivation but I just have to work and not speak. Did I think I would return to Milan? Yes, I always had Milan in my heart and I always had hope that I would return one day. Will I end my career here? I just have to start to work and have a good year, just have to work and that's that."

Earlier this week, club chief executive Adriano Galliani had already confirmed their interest in securing the player on loan until the end of the season, with Liverpool expected to pay some of his wages.