Mario Balotelli has sent a farewell message to Liverpool fans via his Facebook account after completing his loan return to AC Milan. The Italian striker failed to make the impact expected during his short spell at the Merseyside but has thanked the fans "for the time and opportunities" they gave to him.
The former Manchester City star moved to the Merseyside last summer in a deal worth £16m ($25.3m) as part of the attacking overhaul conducted by Brendan Rodgers following the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona. However, and despite Daniel Sturridge missing much of the season due to injuries, Balotelli only started 10 Premier League games during the whole campaign, scoring only one league goal plus a further three in other competitions.
So having signed both Christian Benteke and Danny Ings during the current transfer window, Rodgers decided to offload the Italian after leaving him out of his first-team plans. Earlier this week, Milan chief executive, Adriano Galliani, revealed their interest to lure him back on loan until the end of the season after he netted 30 times in 54 appearances during his first spell at the club.
Balotelli himself later confirmed his return to the Rossoneri after completing his medical at Milan on Tuesday 25 August. The clubs are yet to make an official announcement over the agreement but it is understood he will play on loan in Serie A - with Liverpool paying some of his wages.
The striker, meanwhile, has now sent a message to Liverpool fans thanking them for their support, but failing to confirm whether he expects to return to Anfield in future or if this farewell meant a permanent exit.
"I'm grateful to Liverpool FC and Liverpool fans for the time and opportunities you gave me. It's not a goodbye but rather a farewell," Balotelli wrote on his official Facebook account.
"I'll be supporting you guys all the way in every competition... unless you face AC Milan."