Rodgers: I've told Balotelli a few home truths

The Italy international joined the Reds for £16m from AC Milan earlier this summer and the Northern Irishman admits he has had to have a conversation with the striker already
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers claims he told Mario Balotelli a few home truths on his arrival at Anfield.

The Italy international often brings with him character and controversy, the 24-year-old creating headlines for setting fire to his house with fireworks and throwing darts at youth team players while at Manchester City.

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However, with his antics come goals - Balotelli scoring 26 Serie A goals in 43 appearances for Milan, having netted 20 times for City in 54 league matches.

Rodgers admits he has had to curb Balotelli's ego - informing him that Steven Gerrard will be taking penalties ahead of the Italian, and also denying him a chance to announce himself on Merseyside with a press conference.

"If you'd have seen Mario in training, he's been out for 45 minutes doing extra work on free-kicks and penalties," Rodgers told reporters.

"And yes, he has asked who takes the penalties. He's brilliant at it. And he knows it as well.

"But Steven Gerrard is the penalty-taker. Mario has been told that. He understands the situation."

Rodgers added: "Mario came in and we were asked about the press conference. I replied: 'What press conference?' There wasn't one for Adam Lallana or Lazar Markovic.

"It was a case of: 'Get up the stairs, hold the shirt, get your photograph taken and get straight out.'

"You can make them feel as if they are more than what they are. Then the ego goes with it."

Despite his headline-grabbing acquisition, Rodgers insists that Balotelli will not have a negative impact on the squad's morale in the coming weeks and months.

"Everything he does off the field gets monitored and looked at," he added.

"He does kind things and, yes, stupid ones.

"He is a guy who I believe can help us. But he's not the star. The star of the team is the team."

Balotelli could make his Liverpool debut against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

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