Reports: Nice head coach Patrick Vierra comments on Balotelli leaving the club
What's the story?
Nice head coach Patrick Vierra has revealed that Mario Balotelli wants to leave the club and that it is unlikely that the club will try to hold on to him.
The Ligue 1 side suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to the newly promoted Reims, and his team looked weak without the Italian, but he said after the match that it is important for the team to let go of their unhappy players, and move forward with only those who have the desire to stay with the club.
In case you didn't know
Balotelli previously played for Serie A side Internazionale before his transfer to Manchester City in the Premier League. He later joined AC Milan, and after spending 18 months there, returned to the Premier League with Liverpool.
After an unsuccessful campaign, he moved on a free transfer to Ligue 1 side Nice.
Balotelli scored 43 goals in 66 games for Nice but was an absentee in his club's 1-0 loss to the new league's boys Reims.
Heart of the matter
In an interview with Canal+(h/t skysports.com) after the match, Vieira told that the club will try to do whatever possible to help him find a new club.
"The player wants to leave, so it's unlikely he'll remain here," the new Nice boss said.
"We want players whose desire is to go forward with the club. It's a very complicated and difficult situation, so the club will try to do whatever is possible to help him leave."
The striker failed to join the team at the start of their pre-season, as he was linked with a move to their league opponents Marseille, but the move failed to materialize.
Since then he was linked heavily to Serie A side Napoli, with his agent Mino Raiola even confirming interest from the Partenopei.
But Napoli's president De Laurentiis rubbished such reports and said that he has been against a move for the striker for years and that his views remain unchanged now.
"[Dries] Mertens will not leave, [Angel] Di Maria will not come and as for Balotelli I've been saying no for years. It's very false that he will come to Napoli," he said to Radio Kiss.(h/t sky sports)
Transfer probability/rating: 9/10
As it stands, Balotelli is free to leave the club and is looking more likely to ply his trade in another club, with a number of top European clubs interested.