Mario Balotelli to stay with Nice for 2018-19 season

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The Italy striker has rebuilt his career at the Ligue 1 side since joining in 2016, and, despite rumours, will remain with them for another year

Nice have confirmed that striker Mario Balotelli will remain with them for the 2018-19 season.

The forward's place at the club appeared in jeopardy when he failed to show on time for pre-season training, leading to harsh words from new head coach Patrick Vieira.

Throughout the summer, the Italy international was linked to a plethora of clubs, including Marseille and Napoli, but the Ligue 1 outfit have confirmed he will stay with them for the present campaign.

A statement on their official website reads: "Mario Balotelli will be Nice this season. The club and the number 9 have confirmed that they will continue their adventure together in 2018-19.

"The decision is made. Mario Balotelli has chosen to stay at OGC Nice. The 28-year-old Italian international has expressed this desire to the Nice board. There will be a season three to the hit series. The agreement was endorsed by all parties on Monday night."

Balotelli joined Nice in 2016, in the midst of what appeared to be a career nadir following a disastrous spell in the Premier League with Liverpool.

He spent the season prior to his arrival in Ligue 1 back out on loan at old club Milan in Serie A but he only managed to muster seven goals in 51 appearances between the two sides.

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Upon signing for Nice, Balotelli turned his fortunes around and helped them to their first top-three finish in Ligue 1 since 1976 during his inaugural campaign.

Across the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, he has made 66 appearances for the club, scoring 43 times.

Nice next face unbeaten Dijon on August 25 as they seek their first Ligue 1 win of the season. 

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