(Reuters) - Striker Mario Balotelli has signed a one-year contract extension with Nice, the French club said on Sunday.
The Italy international moved to France from Liverpool on a free transfer last August after the Premier League club’s manager Juergen Klopp confirmed he had no future at Anfield.
“Mario Balotelli will continue with OGC Nice in 2017/18. The Italian signed his contract on Sunday evening,” Nice said in a statement on its website. (www.ogcnice.com)
Balotelli joined Liverpool from AC Milan in 2014 but never fulfilled his potential.
He scored one goal in 16 Premier League appearances in his first campaign and was sent back to Milan on loan for the 2015-16 season, where he found the net once in 20 appearances during an injury-hit campaign.
Balotelli, one of modern football’s mavericks, won the Champions League and three Serie A titles with Inter Milan and lifted the Premier League and the FA Cup during a 2-1/2 year spell with Manchester City.
He rediscovered some of his best form at Nice last season, scoring 17 goals in 28 appearances as the club finished third in Ligue 1, and Nice indicated that he had agreed to a pay cut to remain at the club.
“Despite a large amount of interest, the Italian international compromised financially to continue... his adventure in Nice, favouring the sporting aspect and following his heart,” the club said.
Balotelli could return to Merseyside soon, as Nice are one of several clubs that could face Liverpool in a two-legged play-off in August to determine qualification for the Champions League group stages.
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Ian Ransom