Monday, 25th August, 2014

Former Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given believes that Angel di Maria's big-money move to Manchester United will put Liverpool's capture of Mario Balotelli into the bargain category.

Liverpool are closing on the signing of Balotelli after agreeing a €20m fee with AC Milan for the 24-year-old, a player Given played alongside during his time at Manchester City.

Manchester United meanwhile are poised to bag Di Maria's signature, with the 26-year-old winger costing €75m plus bonus payments to sign from Real Madrid.

For Given, there is no doubt Liverpool have a bargain when looking at Manchester United's move for Di Maria.


"Balotelli is in his mid-20s", Given explained to the BBC.


"The penny is going to drop that he needs to grow up and focus on football. I think Brendan Rodgers is a great manager and will sort him out.

"A lot of stuff you read about Mario is pie in sky, or firework in the sky.

"I was with him at City. He is just a big kid, he does silly things in the changing room, and winds people up. He's not always done things by book.

"But at £16m he is a snip. He is an Italian international striker and I think it is a great deal.

"If Di Maria is £60m, then £16m is a bargain", Given concluded.

Di Maria is expected to fly into England later today to undergo a medical with Manchester United, while Balotelli is set to sign his contract at Liverpool also later today.

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