Vieira blasts Balotelli over Nice treatment

New Nice manager Patrick Vieira has blasted Mario Balotelli for the way he is forcing his way out of the club ahead of a reported move to Marseille.

Vieira reckons the Italy international should have shown Les Aiglons more respect after they helped get his career back on track in the last two seasons.

Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raiola, has insisted that the striker is a free agent, while reports in France have suggested he still has a year to run on his deal at the Allianz Riviera.

Vieira stated that while he respects Balotelli’s wish to leave for green pastures, he’s disappointed in the 27-year-old for not pitching up for pre-season.

“I’m surprised, yes, and disappointed, yes,” the Frenchman told a news conference. “Mario had two very good years at Nice and it’s a shame it’s ending like this.

“If the player wants to leave then that’s his choice, but it’s important for him to come, be here and respect his contract then let the two clubs discuss a way to finalise all that.

“We have some players here who are in that situation, and these players are present at training and waiting for the clubs to finalise things.

“Players make the choice to go to certain clubs, we have to accept that: it’s football. In any case though Nice have to come out of this situation well, getting what they deserve.

“It’s important to respect the club and do things in the best way possible.”