Football: Mario Balotelli ready to take a wage cut to stay at Ligue 1 side Nice

Nice's Italian forward Mario Balotelli thanking supporters after the 0-2 loss to Angers in their football match on May 14, 2017, at the Allianz Riviera stadium. The unfancied French Riviera team finished third in Ligue 1 last season.
Nice's Italian forward Mario Balotelli thanking supporters after the 0-2 loss to Angers in their football match on May 14, 2017, at the Allianz Riviera stadium. The unfancied French Riviera team finished third in Ligue 1 last season.PHOTO: AFP
Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere before the home game.
Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere before the home game.PHOTO: AFP

NICE, France (AFP) - Italian international striker Mario Balotelli is determined to stay at French Ligue 1 outfit Nice next season, club president Jean-Pierre Rivere revealed on Thursday.

"I can tell you three things - one, he's a player who wants to continue with us; two, he's ready to make a financial effort; three, discussions are continuing," said Rivere.

"It's a complicated dossier," said a source close to the discussions, adding that the player could extend by two years with a monthly salary of €450,000 (S$697,829).

Balotelli - who has played in Italy for AC Milan and Inter Milan and in England with Liverpool and Manchester City - joined Nice in 2016, with his 15 league goals helping lift his unfancied team to third place in Ligue 1 and a Champions League spot next season.

The 26-year-old could opt to stay in France and try to resurrect his international career with Italy ahead of the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia.

Balotelli has scored 13 times in 33 international appearances, but has not played for Italy since featuring in a 1-0 defeat by Uruguay that saw the Azzurri eliminated during the group stage of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.