Published On: Thu, Aug 25th, 2016

Report: Nice front-runner to sign Liverpool's Balotelli

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To see a list of completed deals in the summer window thus far, visit theScore’s Premier League transfer tracker.

Liverpool‘s working hard to find Mario Balotelli a new club in the final days of the summer transfer window, and ambitious Ligue 1 outfit Nice has emerged as the favourite to sign the 26-year-old striker.

Balotelli was reportedly considering a move to Swiss club Sion on loan, but the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce believes the Italian was granted permission to negotiate with Nice on Thursday.

The controversial Italian has been training with the reserves since returning to Merseyside from an unsuccessful season-long loan at AC Milan. He has scored just two league goals over the past two seasons, although his behaviour hasn’t been the cause. A debilitating groin injury limited Balotelli to just eight starts with the Rossoneri last season.

Nice manager Lucien Favre seems open to signing Balotelli – but only if he keeps certain promises.

“I don’t know him personally, but if he runs and wants to help the youngsters, then why not?” said Favre, according to the Echo. “If he doesn’t want to run, then there’s no way he’ll come here.”

A move back to Italy appeared to be an option for the former Inter and Manchester City hitman, with Sassuolo, Sampdoria, and Serie A newcomer Crotone among the most interested parties. Sassuolo in particular began talks with Liverpool and Balotelli’s camp earlier this month, but the transfer fee proved to be prohibitive.

However, he would give Nice a high-profile boost in the goal-scoring department following the departures of forwards Hatem Ben Arfa and Valere Germain.

The Cote d’Azur side is competing in the Europa League this year, a reward for its previous fourth-place finish in Ligue 1.

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