Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli has returned to Liverpool after an unsuccessful stint at AC MilanGetty Images

Mario Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola has insisted Liverpool were keen for the Italian striker to return to the club this summer. The controversial 25-year-old has endured a troubled spell on Merseyside since joining Liverpool in 2014, but Raiola claims manager Jurgen Klopp is eager to work with Balotelli.

The Italian international spent last season on loan at Serie A giants AC Milan, meaning Klopp never had the opportunity to work with him after he succeeded Brendan Rodgers at Anfield. But as rumours continue to circle about Liverpool selling the striker this summer, Raiola has claimed Klopp is happy to have him for their pre-season training.

"Balotelli? I'm an optimistic person, I strongly believe in the player, this season wasn't positive but I think Mario can show his value," Raiola said of the Liverpool star, according to Sky. "Liverpool wanted him to come back to work with Klopp, so we'll see how he finds him."

The Italian has been linked with the likes of Besiktas and Sampdoria in recent weeks, but a transfer has failed to materialise.

Meanwhile, Balotelli has previously insisted that despite widespread doubts about his attitude, he remains confident of realising his potential. Indeed, Balotelli is hoping another chance at Liverpool can deliver an unlikely Ballon d'Or award.

"I can do much more than what I said. But it takes time. On a scale of zero to 10, I stopped at five, but slowly I will get [to 10]," the Liverpool striker reflected.

"I know, it makes me laugh, I have not done everything needed to be the strongest, but the important thing is that I understand and it is not too late. I will not end my career with the regret of not having done everything to become [Ballon d'Or]."