Ligue 1 : Italian striker Mario Balotelli extends contract with OGC Nice
Mario Balotelli joined Nice last August and scored 17 goals in 28 appearances as the club came third — their best finish in 41 years.
Nice(France): Italian international striker Mario Balotelli signed a new deal with French Ligue 1 outfit Nice on Sunday after spearheading their qualification for the Champions League in his first season.
Nice announced the news regarding the signing of new contract with Balotelli on Twitter.
— OGC Nice 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@ogcnice_eng) June 25, 2017
A source close to the negotations on Thursday had suggested Balotelli could extend his stay in Nice by two years with a monthly salary of €450,000 (Rs 3.2 crores approx).
Balotelli, who played in Italy for AC Milan and Inter Milan and England with Liverpool and Manchester City, joined Nice last August and scored 17 goals in 28 appearances as the club came third — their best finish in 41 years.
Balotelli's move to Nice was seen by many as a last roll of the dice for a player who endured two miserable seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16 before landing at the Allianz Riviera on a free transfer.
The Italian helped fire Nice into the qualifying rounds for next season's Champions League — after Lucien Favre's side finished behind Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain — but Balotelli was also sent off three times.
He was also the target of racist abuse from Bastia fans and found himself dropped over his attitude — an issue Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura said Balotelli must address if he is to fight his way back into contention for the 2018 World Cup.
Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere had said earlier in the week that Balotelli was very keen to remain with the club after resurrecting his faltering career last season.
"I can tell you three things - one, he's a player who wants to continue with us; two, he's ready to make a financial effort; three, discussions are continuing," said Rivere on Thursday.
He scored two goals in 21 games in Madrid before joining Milan last season on loan, scoring seven goals in 39 appearances for the northern Italian outfit.
"AC Milan are delighted to announce the permanent signing of Fode Ballo-Toure from AS Monaco," last season's Serie A runners-up said in a statement.
Pochettino's previous contract was set to expire in 2022.