Mario Balotelli will stay at Nice this summer if the Ligue 1 club can meet his financial demands, the Italy striker’s teammate Yoan Cardinale has told RMC.
Balotelli, 26, signed a one-year deal with Nice last summer after he was deemed surplus to requirements at Liverpool but he has thrived, scoring 11 goals in 18 games to help Nice mount a shock title challenge.
With a 16-point gap between Lucien Favre’s men in third place and Lyon in fourth with just seven games left this season, Nice look set to qualify for the third qualifying round of next season’s Champions League at the very least.
Cardinale, who has struck up a good relationship with Balotelli, said the former Inter and AC Milan forward wants to stay on the Cote d’Azur if the money is right.
“He tells me he would like to stay, that at Nice there are all the conditions for him to stay. He’s very happy here. He sees there is a great project being put in place. So why not?” the Nice goalkeeper said.
“He knows it will be very difficult because in terms of salary, a player like Balotelli costs a lot. But if the club is able to meet his demands, he’ll stay happily.”
While Balotelli seems to have found his form in Nice, Favre looks to have found the way to get the best out of the striker.
Favre recently said that Balotelli is “not difficult” to handle if he is shown respect, and Cardinale said the Nice dressing room is united in its admiration for the forward.
“We are all trying to get it into his head that he should stay next season when he’s as committed as he has been in the last few games,” Cardinale, who saw Balotelli score in last weekend’s league win over Bordeaux, said.
“People are talking about Bordeaux, but he’s been good for a few matches now. Unfortunately, he just didn’t score. Against Bordeaux, he was very good. We even saw him defend which is something that’s quite rare for him. When he’s like that, it’s good for us and for him. Everyone is happy.