Mario Balotelli 'has until Christmas to prove himself at Liverpool'

Liverpool's Italian striker Mario Balotelli plays during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane in London on August 31, 2014
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Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli reportedly has until Christmas to save his Anfield career.

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has reportedly been given until Christmas to prove himself at Anfield.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers held talks with the player on Thursday and outlined what is required to prevent the club from moving him on in January, The Mirror reports.

Balotelli has come under fire following a string of below-par performances on the pitch and was fined for swapping shirts with Real Madrid defender Pepe at half time of the Merseyside outfit's 3-0 Champions League defeat by the Spaniards.

The Italy international, who joined Liverpool in a deal worth £16m over the summer, is yet to score for the Reds in the Premier League and has netted just once in Europe.

Rodgers is said to be considering benching Balotelli for this weekend's clash with Hull City in favour of giving Rickie Lambert a chance to shine.

A stoic-looking Brendan Rodgers ahead of Liverpool's game with Man City on August 25, 2014
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