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Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 2°C
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Balotelli fails to report for Nice training on Patrick Vieira's first day in charge
“We expected him at training today,” said Vieira.

MARIO BALOTELLI FAILED to report for the first day of pre-season training at Nice – new head coach Patrick Vieira’s first in charge of the club.

The Italy international has been strongly linked with a move away from the Allianz Riviera this summer, with Marseille persistently linked with a player who has previously indicated his desire to return to his homeland.

Former Arsenal midfielder Vieira has admitted that he expected the 27-year-old striker to be present along with Alassane Plea, who was also absent, albeit with reports suggesting he had airline trouble.

Balotelli, meanwhile, was content to post a video of himself playing football yesterday with rapper 6ix9ine on Instagram.

“It was planned that all the players would be here,” Vieira told the media.

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“Unfortunately, these two were not present. We will try to understand why.

“We expected him [Balotelli] at training today. What’s certain is he wasn’t there and that [his absence] wasn’t planned. We’ll wait and see what happens.”

Balotelli’s contract at the club has expired but a clause in his contract means Nice are entitled to €10 million from his next club if he departs.

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