Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Milan striker Mario Balotelli is good enough to play for 'any team in the world.'
The Reds will meet the Rossoneri in their International Champions Cup clash as part of their pre-season tour of the US on Saturday but Rodgers comments will work to fuel speculation of interest from Anfield in 23-year-old Balotelli.
Liverpool have been frustrated in their attempts to fill the void left by the departed Luis Suarez this summer after seeing Loic Remy's proposed move to Anfield break down. Swansea City's Wilfried Bony is another option for the club but there is yet to be an official approach for the Ivorian international.
After another dismal season last term for Milan, Balotelli's agent has talked up the possibility of his client considering other options and while Rodgers stopped short of declaring an interest, he made no secret of his admiration for the striker.
"Balotelli is a big talent," Rodgers said.
"I saw that in his time at Inter Milan as a young player and obviously going to Manchester City when we had a real close on him there.
"He's got all the qualities. He's 6ft 3ins, he's quick, his touch is terrific, and he can score goals. He went back to Italy to play and he's still so young.
"If his focus is right, his concentration is right and he leads the lifestyle of a top player then he can play for any team in the world."
Balotelli has spent much of the summer being linked with a move to Arsenal. Comments from Milan suggest the club would not be against listening to offers for the mercurial striker but Arsene Wenger insisted on Friday the player has never been part of their summer transfer plans.
"For weeks, we were buying Balotelli from one minute to the other and it was all wrong. We were never in for him," Wenger told a press conference ahead of the Emirates Cup, Football Italia reported.
"We do not master the noises that come out."