Brendan Rodgers has claimed he did not have the last word on transfers as he spoke for the first time since his sacking about Liverpool's transfer committee.

He also insisted Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool's owners, wanted him to take a chance on Mario Balotelli in August 2014, to see if Rodgers could turn the maverick striker from a £16 million gamble into £50 million superstar.

Rodgers, who was sacked by Liverpool last October, was a guest on Sky's Goals On Sunday show and he spoke about a number of issues, including why he never signed Dele Alli from MK Dons, the sales of Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez, as well as Steven Gerrard's departure.

"When there is a list of players and the player that you want isn't on that list, you have to take someone. You can't have no players. If you haven't got a left back, if the left back that you want, for whatever reason, you can't bring in, if there is a list of three or four, you are having to take the best on that group. It's the model. It's about the young player."


Expanding on how the committee - which compromises head of recruitment Dave Fallows, head of technical performance Michael Edwards, chief scout Barry Hunter, chief executive Ian Ayre and FSG president Mike Gordon - Rodgers added: "The model at the club is slightly different.

"The ownership group, as I say they are a wonderful group of people, but they have a way of working and they want to bring in young players and look to see them develop and move on. So if you look at some of those players, a lot of them were 24 and below.

"The ones who were above that were free transfers. As a manager, you're always the figurehead of the club. But there is a recruitment team in place... Guys that work very, very hard at the club."

Liverpool's signing of Balotelli was controversial from the very start, given Rodgers had categorically denied after a friendly against AC Milan in August 2014 that he had any interest in the Italian. Things changed, however, within three weeks but the Northern Irishman said a lack of options - and the willingness of FSG - saw Balotelli arrive on Merseyside for an ill-fated spell.

"What we wanted and what we needed was a player who could really press at the top end of the field," said Rodgers. "It wasn't just a goalscorer we were after. Luis Suarez was giving us so much more than that. That ability to press was something we wanted to work.

"After the AC Milan game, I was asked a question and I felt Mario was someone who wouldn't work for us, the profile of what we were after. But come the end of the summer, we were struggling to get someone who could do the role we wanted. I think the ownership group thought that this could be a player I could develop. He had had his issues, Mario. But Mario has got wonderful talent.

"Make no mistake about that. You see him on the training ground every day, 6ft 3ins, he is fast, he is strong and he has got a touch. They were thinking that maybe he is a £50m player that we can get for £16m. We can bring him in and we can develop him in the way I had developed some of the other players. So, when the owners are wanting you to go down that route and there is no other options, then of course you give it a go."

Pressed on whether it was a decision he regretted, Rodgers said: "Those conversations (about not signing him) do take place and did take place. But, of course, whenever the owners want you to have the go with the player then that is my job to manage the club.

"I manage the club how I want to but there were other conditions that meant that we could not get players that I wanted in. The huge blow for us was we felt we were getting Alexis Sanchez. We thought Luis was going and he would have been the like for like replacement.

"He would have been perfect for us, how aggressive he is and how he presses the game. If we had got Alexis in after Luis going, it would have been a smooth transition. Then we were bringing Rickie Lambert in alongside that.

"But it ended up that we didn't get Alexis Sanchez and then suddenly there is a lot of pressure on Rickie Lambert and that wasn't meant to be the plan. He was brought in as someone who could come into games late on, in cup games.

"All of a sudden, Sanchez doesn't come in; we think Fabio Borini is going. Daniel has been injured. And, all of sudden, the only striker who think is going to be here is Rickie Lambert. And at 32 years of age going into a Champions League season, that wasn't ideally what we needed.

"So we had to bring in someone. Obviously Mario has got big talent. So could it be the case where... I wasn't thinking I was going to be different to all the other managers he has had issues with. There was none of that at all. It was at the moment in time, we didn't really have another option.

"So what do you do? Do you go with one striker? Or do you bring him in and see if it can work? That was something that didn't quite work for us. And it cost us."