Mario Balotelli claimed he will never go back to play in Italy after insisting his move to Nice was not a gamble for the French club.

The former Manchester City striker has joined the Ligue 1 side following his early release from his Liverpool contract.

Balotelli, who needed surgery on a groin injury last November, scored only one goal in Serie A on loan at Milan last season.

He will now replace fellow bad boy Hatem Ben Arfa, who resurrected his career on the Cote d’Azur before joining PSG.

“It was a footballing decision to come here,” he said. “There were other successful clubs who wanted me but I need above all else to play this season. This season needs to be a good season. I don’t miss Italy at all.

“I would never return to Italy now and you should know why. Everyone knows how much I care about the national team but recently I have not deserved to be picked. If it happens, good, but you have been playing without me for two years now so I am sure you are used to it.”

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