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Mario Balotelli offers no explanation for absence from Nice training session

Alassane Plea also failed to attend the first session under boss Patrick Vieira.

Nice’s Mario Balotelli and Alassane Plea failed to show up on Monday as the club held their first pre-season training session with new boss Patrick Vieira.

The Ligue 1 outfit said on their official website that while Plea’s absence was due to “a plane delay” and he was set to take part on Tuesday, no explanation had been given by striker Balotelli.

Vieira, appointed as Lucien Favre’s successor last month, was quoted as saying at a press conference: “It wasn’t planned. What was planned was to have all the players.

“Unfortunately, they were not there this morning. We take note.”

Vieira added: “My wish? It’s to keep the players who want to be part of the project.

“Those who do not want (to be part of the project), we will discuss with the president (Jean-Pierre Rivere) and Julien (Fournier, Nice’s managing director) and we will try to make the best decision for the club.”

Plea posted a message on his official Twitter account on Monday afternoon, retweeted by Nice, which said: “Hi all.

“For personal reasons, I could not be there this morning in training… but I confirm (to) you (I) will be present tomorrow. Hugs to all Alas.”

Balotelli, the Italy and former Manchester City and Liverpool striker, and forward Plea scored 18 and 16 goals respectively in Ligue 1 last season for Nice, who finished eighth in the table.

Both men have been linked with moves away from the club.

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