Nice doubt Balotelli will stay

Nice are not confident of keeping Mario Balotelli at the club beyond the current campaign, as they are likely to miss out on European football in 2018/19.

The 27-year-old striker got his career back on track at the Allianz Riviera after failed spells with Liverpool and Milan, helping Les Aiglons to a third-placed finish last term.

Balotelli has already bettered his tally of 17 goals in his debut season by five, but with Lucien Favre’s side a good 12 points adrift of the top four in eighth place, European qualification is looking increasingly slim.

The Italian will be out of contract at the end of June and his agent, Mino Raiola, indicated a liking for the project at Napoli, who are pushing Juventus for the Serie A title.

Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere admitted before Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to league leaders Paris Saint-Germain that Balotelli is expected to move on – a sentiment echoed by Favre.

“It is likely that Mario may be leaving to see other horizons,” Rivere said. “We’ll see what happens in the transfer window.”

Speaking after the match, Favre told Canal : “It’s more likely than not that Mario will leave.”