MILAN (AFP) - Italian striker Mario Balotelli has revealed he would return to play for former club Manchester City for free.
The 27-year-old has scored 16 goals in 21 games in his second season at Ligue 1 side Nice, but hankers for big trophies again.
"My aim is to return to a big club to win something important again," Balotelli told Thursday's (Dec 21) edition of Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I'd like to get back to having a strong squad behind me. I want to play in the Champions League and win something."
Balotelli won six trophies with Inter Milan including the Champions League before moving to Manchester City in 2010, followed by two spells at AC Milan either side of an unsuccessful stint at Liverpool.
He insisted he has put his wilder days behind him and surrounded by his family was enjoying football as never before.
"It's a special season, it should always be like that. I have no pressure, I work well but I have been working well since my time at Liverpool but goals always make the difference.
"I was acting as a teenager but I've hurt nobody," continued Balotelli of his controversial past. "Anyway people can't ask a 20-year-old to stay at home."
Balotelli left Liverpool on a free transfer in August 2016 to join Nice who are sixth in the French league this season.
But a return to an Italian club could be complicated, Balotelli believes.
"It's hard to say (about AC Milan), there would be too much pressure on me like the last time. I wanted to visit my old team-mates a few weeks ago but (club chief executive Marco) Fassone said it was better not to do it.
"Inter are a great club. I got on very well there. I spoke with (sporting director Piero) Ausilio, I let him know that I would come back willingly. But it was only joking."
But he added that "without a doubt" his best days were spent at Premier League leaders Manchester City, with whom he won the English title in dramatic fashion on the final day of the 2011-12 season.
"I had my best season there and there's a unique atmosphere at the club, I'd return to play there even without a salary."