London – Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been granted compassionate leave after a family bereavement and will miss the first day of pre-season training on Monday, the Premier League club said.

The 24-year-old Italian was not with his team mates when they reassembled after the summer break amid media reports of the death of his adoptive father, Francesco, at the weekend.

Liverpool confirmed Balotelli had been granted leave but told Reuters the details were private.

Over the weekend the former Manchester City and AC Milan forward tweeted: "Thanks everyone for the support. I really wanna thank everybody. My family thanks all of you too."

– Reuters