OGC Nice striker Mario Balotelli has skipped another day of pre-season training today, having been absent for the first day of Patrick Vieira’s regime yesterday.
Patrick Vieira preferred to laugh the situation off, indicating that Balotelli “must be stuck in an escape game”.
Club President Jean-Pierre Rivère struck a different tone: “Regardless of whether or not you are close to departing the club, a player under contract has obligations. Mario does not enjoy preferential treatment here.”
The news comes as La Provence report this morning that the offer that Ligue 1 rivals Marseille have put on the table for the Italian striker would make Balotelli the highest paid player in the club’s history, for a 3-year contract with the option to extend by another.
It is believed that Nice and Balotelli have a gentlemen’s agreement in place that allows the Italian to leave the club this summer for €10m.
A source close to the situation had the following to say this morning:
“Mario will take a decision in the next 48 hours. That does not necessarily mean that Nice will accept his decision in those 48 hours… If things continue to drag on, that could mean that he is waiting for an option to pop up in Italy.”
Marseille are not putting all their eggs in one basket, and L’Équipe report that they have made informal contact for Fiorentina’s Giovanni Simeone, even if it is believed that they are far behind a host of other clubs for the Argentinian.