(FILES) This file photo taken on May 7, 2017 shows Nice’s Italian forward Mario Balotelli arriving for the warm up session prior to the French L1 football match betweem Olympique of Marseille (OM) and Nice at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille. Italian international striker Mario Balotelli is determined to stay at Ligue 1 outfit Nice next season, club president Jean-Pierre Rivere revealed on June 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / BORIS HORVAT
Italian international striker Mario Balotelli is determined to stay at Ligue 1 outfit Nice next season, club president Jean-Pierre Rivere revealed on Thursday.
“I can tell you three things – one, he’s a player who wants to continue with us; two, he’s ready to make a financial effort; three, discussions are continuing,” said Rivere.
“It’s a complicated dossier,” said a source close to the discussions, adding that the player could extend by two years with a monthly salary of 450,000 euros ($502,000).
Balotelli — who played in Italy for AC Milan and Inter Milan and England with Liverpool and Manchester City — joined Nice in 2016, with his 15 goals helping lift the team to third in Ligue 1 and a Champions League spot next season.
The 26-year-old could opt to stay in France and try to resurrect his international career with Italy for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
Balotelli has scored 13 times in 33 international appearances, but hasn’t played for Italy since featuring in a 1-0 defeat to Uruguay that saw the Azzurri eliminated during the group stages of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.