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Balotelli staying with Nice

The striker had been linked with Ligue 1 rivals Marseille.

Mario Balotelli will remain with Nice this season, the Ligue 1 club have announced.

The Italy striker, 28, has spent two years with Nice but was linked with a move away from the Allianz Riviera this summer, with south-coast rivals Marseille reportedly front-runners for his signature.

Nice alluded to Marseille’s interest in the former Manchester City and Liverpool player when revealing that Balotelli had decided to commit his services to Les Aiglons.

In tweets posted on Monday night, Nice said: “The decision has been taken. After careful consideration, Mario Balotelli has decided to stay at Nice. The Italian international expressed his wishes to the directors. There will be a third season for the forward.

“Suspended for the first three games of Ligue 1, the Gym’s forward, who has scored 43 goals since arriving at the club, will be available for selection next week, ready for the trip to Lyon.

“Made slightly complicated at the start of the summer by another club from the south of France, the situation is now back to normal. Simple, clear. Like one of Super Mario’s strikes.”

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