Mario Balotelli: Former Man City striker set to stay at Nice despite Torino rumours

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Italian international striker Mario Balotelli is determined to stay at Ligue 1 outfit Nice next season, club president Jean-Pierre Rivere revealed on Thursday.

“I can tell you three things – one, he’s a player who wants to continue with us; two, he’s ready to make a financial effort; three, discussions are continuing,” said Rivere.

“It’s a complicated dossier,” said a source close to the discussions, adding that the player could extend by two years with a monthly salary of 450,000 euros ($502,000).

Balotelli — who played in Italy for AC Milan and Inter Milan and England with Liverpool and Manchester City — joined Nice in 2016, with his 15 goals helping lift the team to third in Ligue 1 and a Champions League spot next season.

The 26-year-old could opt to stay in France and try to resurrect his international career with Italy for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

Balotelli has scored 13 times in 33 international appearances, but hasn’t played for Italy since featuring in a 1-0 defeat to Uruguay that saw the Azzurri eliminated during the group stages of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

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Barcelona close in on big-money transfer for Paris Saint-Germain ace Marco Verratti

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In talks with Barca: Verratti.

Transfer speculation is dominating the football agenda every day this summer with rumours aplenty about players from throughout Europe’s big leagues.

Will any of the following deals happen?

Get in touch with your thoughts on Twitter and via Facebook.

MARCO VERRATTI

Barcelona have moved a step closer to landing long-term transfer target Marco Verratti this summer.

It has been common knowledge for some time that the La Liga giants want the PSG man to be the linchpin of a new-look midfield under Ernesto Valverde.

According to Don Balon, the 24-year-old Italy has been the subject of a £61m offer from the Catalan side – a bid that could well be enough to convince PSG to offload the combative star.

Despite all the speculation surrounding his future, Verratti has yet to lay his cards on the table and speak out about his next move.

RATING: 8/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: The transfer saga surrounding the Italy international has been ongoing for some time but let’s not forget he is still contracted to the Parc de Princes until 2021…expect the deal to happen though.

Paris Saint-Germain's Italian midfielder Marco Verratti controls the ball during the French League Cup final football match Monaco (ASM) vs Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on April 1, 2017 at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in Decines-Charpieu, near Lyon. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

Verratti looks set for La Liga.

ELIAQUIM MANGALA

Lyon are expected to wrap-up a deal for the French defender this week, according to L’Equipe.

The Manchester City star, who spent last season on loan at Valencia, has been deemed surplus to requirements by Pep Guardiola and is expected to be shown the exit door before the Blues return to first-team training next month.

Mangala, who joined City in August 2014 for a reported £31.8 million, has failed to fully justify that price tag and is thought to be keen to move to his homeland.

RATING: 8/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: Lyon will be hoping they can sign the 26-year-old for a fraction of the fee he cost Man City three years ago.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Eliaquim Mangala of Manchester City controls the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St James' Park on April 19, 2016 in Newcastle, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Mangala was under heavy scrutiny at City following below-par performances.

ANDRES INIESTA

Pep Guardiola is set for further talks with the Barcelona legend in the coming days, according to Sport.

As was reported on Tuesday, the Manchester City boss made a surprise approach for the 33-year-old – a player he knows all too well from his trophy-laden four-year spell as boss at the Nou Camp.

Signing Iniesta would be very much a short-term option but he still has the quality to produce at the highest level.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 21: Andres Iniesta of FC Barcelona runs with the ball during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Eibar at Camp Nou on 21 May, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Barcelona icon: Iniesta.

RATING: 6/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: The Spanish legend has one more year left on his Nou Camp contract, and while it may be tempting to re-join Guardiola in England, most people would expect him to stay in Catalonia.

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Mohamed Salah's move to Liverpool could surpass club's record fee for Andy Carroll

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Liverpool are closing in on a deal to sign Roma winger Mohamed Salah for a potential club-record fee.

The Reds are set to pay in the region of £35 million – which includes add-ons.

However, with some late negotiation over the finer details still to be done, the figure could move just beyond that mark and therefore eclipse the sum they paid Newcastle for Andy Carroll in January 2011.

Because of the ongoing talks it is understood Salah, contrary to reports, will not undergo a medical on Wednesday.

Liverpool had an initial offer of £28m for the 25-year-old rejected earlier this month but, having continued negotiations with the Serie A club, have now come to a settlement.

The Premier League club have landed Salah at the second attempt as three years ago they were outbid by Chelsea, with the winger moving to Stamford Bridge for £11m.

That move did not work out for him and, after loan spells at Fiorentina and Roma, he joined the latter for £13m last summer.

The pacy attacker scored 15 Serie A goals last season – making it 29 league goals in two years – and provided 11 assists as Roma finished third behind Juventus and Napoli.

Provided by Press Association

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