Raiola: Balotelli will return to England

With the ink not yet dry on his contract with Ligue 1 club Nice, Mario Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola is already talking up a Premier League return for the striker.

In a move that is sure to be unpopular with the controversial striker's new club, his agent has all but admitted Nice is nothing more than a stepping stone to greater things for Balotelli.

The 26-year-old recently joined the Ligue 1 outfit on a free transfer after three highly unsuccessful years with Liverpool, in which he played in just 16 Premier League games and scored a single goal.

In stark contrast, he has made a lightning start to his career in France, netting two goals in his top-flight debut to help Nice to a 3-2 win over Marseille just over a week ago.

However, instead of looking to a bright career in France's top flight, Raiola is already talking up Balotelli's next move.

"Italy is unlivable for him because of the attention he gets," he told the Daily Mail. "If he proves he can become stable at Nice and score goals then imagine how attractive he would be to a Premier League manager next summer as a free agent.

"France needs him, like they needed Zlatan (Ibrahimovic). He is good for the league but he will absolutely return to the Premier League.

"What would a real manager rather do? Gamble £100m on a striker or take Balotelli? Because no one can tell me he is not a world-class talent."