Liverpool will get the best out of Mario Balotelli as Steven Gerrard will ease the pressure on the striker to lead his team, according to the Italian's agent Mino Raiola.

Raoila, who also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic, said he expects Ballotelli's proposed £16m transfer from AC Milan to be completed on Monday or Tuesday.

"Liverpool have Gerrard so Mario will be protected and there he will be at his best," he told Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport. "Now it's up to him. Another flop is not recommended.

"Not everyone is born to be a leader and often good strikers are not good leaders. Mario needs to get out from behind this pressure so he can feel free to score goals."

Raiola admitted the often controversial Balotelli was running out of chances to establish himself at an elite club.

"At the highest level it is all or nothing," said Raiola. "Mario is 24 years old. He can no longer use his age as an excuse."

"At the highest level it is all or nothing. Mario is 24 years old. He can no longer use his age as an excuse." - Mino Raiola

"Balotelli’s contract will be completed on Monday or Tuesday. I still have so many little things to fix. Today (Saturday), meanwhile, Mario has his medical."

Raiola revealed that he had been in discussions with the Merseysiders for months after Balotelli decided that it was time to leave Milan.

"The negotiations have been very smooth and fair. They have been going on for three months. It is not a scoop. Liverpool is the only English team that I have dealt with regarding Mario."

"The truth is that I'm working on Mario for months: it was time to divorce from Milan.

"I have always been negative about him returning to play in Italy, because of the pressure, the expectations, the press.

"It is much more difficult for him to play in Italy than it is for him to play abroad. But he insisted when he left Manchester City that he wanted to go to Milan.

"I cannot blame Milan for anything. It is a great club. Mario played well for six or seven months, gave a decisive contribution in getting them to the Champions League, but then we saw that he is not ready to be a leader."