Liverpool Deadline Day round-up: Four players leave as Balotelli ends Anfield career with Nice switch

Liverpool made no extra signings on deadline day, but saw four first-team players leave - with Mario Balotelli and Luis Alberto departing permanently and Lazar Markovic and Andre Wisdom sealing season-long loans to Portugal and Austria respectively.

Liverpool Deadline Day round-up: Four players leave as Balotelli ends Anfield career with Nice switch
(Picture: Getty Images)

Although deadline day saw no new incoming players, four players - including Mario Balotelli - left Liverpool as the summer transfer window came to a close.

Balotelli sealed a long-anticipated departure by joining OGC Nice on a free transfer, while attacking midfielder Luis Alberto moved to Lazio on a permanent basis.

Elsewhere, Lazar Markovic and Andre Wisdom sealed season-long loan moves to Sporting CP and Red Bull Salzburg, while Mamadou Sakho stayed put.

The exodus on the final day of the market took the number of permanent outgoings to 13 - a joint-high in the club's history for the number of exits in one window, matching the summer of 2005.

Alongside the temporary moves on the final day, nine first-team players are now out on loan, with a further three Academy players away from the club on temporary spells.

Balotelli moves to Ligue 1 side Nice on a free

The biggest news was undoubtedly Balotelli's departure, to bring to an end a thoroughly forgettable two-year spell on Merseyside.

The Italian arrived from AC Milan for £16 million in the summer of 2014 under Brendan Rodgers, but was at odds with the Reds' style-of-play and scored just four goals in 28 appearances in all competitions.

The 26-year-old was sent back out to AC Milan last term, where he failed to impress with three goals in 23 games, and for much of the summer it appeared that Liverpool were struggling to find someone to take Balotelli off of their hands.

Liverpool made it clear to Balotelli that he had no future at the club earlier this summer. (Picture: Getty Images)
Liverpool made it clear to Balotelli that he had no future at the club earlier this summer. (Picture: Getty Images)

Ligue 1 side Nice only recently emerged as front-runners for his signature, initially indicating a desire to sign Balotelli on a season-long loan before Liverpool finally convinced them to take him permanently.

Balotelli had already passed a medical and agreed personal terms in the south of France, before the two clubs reached an agreement to see him move on a free transfer.

Though Liverpool won't recoup any of the fee they paid for Balotelli only two years ago, it does mean they get his £90,000-a-week wages off of the books while they owe the player no pay-off to move on.

Markovic seals season-long loan switch to Portugal

Otherwise, out-of-favour winger Markovic sealed a loan departure by agreeing to return to his homeland to spend the season with Portuguese side Sporting, who finished second last year.

The Serbian, who joined Liverpool from Benfica in a £20 million deal two years ago, had initially been keen to go out on loan to a Premier League club rather than go back to Portugal.

But no offers came in and the 22-year-old had a late charge of heart to move to Sporting, who had shown interest in his services for a number of months.

Markovic failed to make his mark in pre-season. (Picture: Getty Images)
Markovic failed to make his mark in pre-season. (Picture: Getty Images)

Indeed, they were even open to a permanent deal worth around £16 million, but Markovic reportedly hopes he still has a future at the club under Jürgen Klopp - who decided it was best to send him out on loan to get game time for the time being before deciding his long-term future at a later date.

At Sporting, he joins up with manager Jorge Jesus - whom he played under at Benfica - having spent last season on loan at Fenerbahce only to have his season ravaged by niggling injuries.

Markovic has so far made 34 appearances, scoring three goals, for Liverpool but failed to convince Klopp throughout pre-season that he could fight for a place in the squad in 2016-17.

Wisdom off on loan while forgotten man Alberto leaves

Elsewhere Alberto and Wisdom, as expected, completed moves to Lazio and Red Bull Salzburg respectively.

The Spanish midfielder brought an end to a disappointing three-year career at Anfield, in which he made just 12 first-team appearances before loans with Malaga and Deportivo La Coruna.

Wisdom had no place in Klopp's squad this season. (Picture: Getty Images)
Wisdom had no place in Klopp's squad this season. (Picture: Getty Images)

The deal with the Serie A side sees Liverpool recoup an immediate fee of £4.2 million for Alberto, with a further £1.7 million in add-ons and a 30 per-cent sell-on clause.

Wisdom, meanwhile, goes out on a season-long loan to Austrian champions Salzburg for his fourth temporary spell in as many years.

The defender has spent time with Derby County, West Brom and Norwich City in the last three seasons but was not seen as part of Klopp's plans this season.

Sakho and Ilori stay, but no newcomers on the final day

But there were also a few who remained at Liverpool having been expected to leave.

Mamadou Sakho rejected the advice of his manager as he looks to try and fight for a place at the club.

The centre-back had been told that he wouldn't play for the Reds if he remained on Merseyside, but turned down loan offers from Stoke City, West Brom and Besiktas.

It's been a tumultuous few months for the France international, after his drawn-out UEFA drugs case and recent behavioural problems, and it is unlikely that he will feature for the forseeable future despite his determination to stay.

Cameron Brannagan or Connor Randall, both touted with potential loan moves, remain at the club with Liverpool having turned down interest from Preston North End for the right-back and Brannagan's move to Wigan Athletic having fallen through earlier in the month.

Ilori will be resigned to the Reds' U23s this season. (Picture: Getty Images)
Ilori will be resigned to the Reds' U23s this season. (Picture: Getty Images)

They will likely be key back-up players, while Tiago Ilori will drop into the Under-23s after Liverpool failed to engineer a permanent departure for the defender.

A host of clubs across Europe were interested in the out-of-favour Portuguese, but no club failed to meet the £4 million asking price for the 23-year-old, who only had loan offers on the table.

Ilori, who made his debut under Klopp in January but has only appeared three times in total for Liverpool, has previously had unsuccessful spells with Granada, Bordeaux and Aston Villa and the club were keen to see him away on a permanent basis.

But they could not find a buyer for the centre-back, who joined from Sporting in the summer of 2013 in a £7 million transfer and he will instead ply his trade for Michael Beale's youngsters.

As expected, there were no new incomings through the doors at Melwood - despite a whole host of links with players from various outlets. 

Liverpool had submitted an £11 million bid for 17-year-old Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic earlier in the week, but the Reds' chase for the US international will have to wait for another window.

That meant they only welcomed the six signings into the club over the summer of 2016 - spending over £60 million on Joel Matip, Loris Karius, Sadio Mane, Ragnar Klavan, Alex Manninger and Georginio Wijnaldum.