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Vieira tells Balotelli to decide on Nice future

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Nice Italian forward Mario Balotelli. PHOTO: VALERY HACHE / AFP

Troublesome Italian striker Mario Balotelli has been given extended leave by French outfit Nice and told to make up his mind about his plans with the club.

Under contract at Nice until the end of the 2018-2019 season, the 28-year-old has scored 33 goals in 51 games since joining the Ligue 1 side in 2016.

Observers however feel Patrick Vieira — who took over as coach in June and has overseen just seven wins in 18 league matches — is ready to transfer Balotelli during the winter break with interest reported in England and Turkey.

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“I have given Mario a few extra days off to think about his future and what he wants to do,” said Vieira, who played alongside the giant centre-forward at Manchester City and Inter Milan.

“He’s under contract here and everything is possible, if we can come to a common agreement who knows,” said Vieira.

Balotelli came close to a move to Marseille over the summer and returned to training late and unfit after the deal fell through.


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