Mario Balotelli has decided to remain at Nice for the 2018-19 Ligue 1 season.
Balotelli was tipped to depart in the transfer window and was linked with French rivals Marseille, with head coach Patrick Vieira revealing it was “unlikely” the Italy international forward would remain at the Allianz Riviera.
However, the 28-year-old – who has missed the opening two games of the new season through suspension – will remain with Nice, where he has scored 33 league goals since arriving from Liverpool in 2016.
“The decision has been taken. After careful consideration, Mario #Balotelli has decided to stay at @ogcnice_eng,” Nice announced via Twitter.
“The Italian international expressed his wishes to the directors. There will be a third season for the forward. The agreement was signed by all parties on Monday evening.
“Suspended for the first three Ligue 1 games, the 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.”