Mario Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola is already tipping his client for a return to the Premier League on a free transfer next year, just two matches into the striker’s Nice career.
Balotelli moved to Allianz Riviera on transfer deadline day last month after two disappointing years on the books of Liverpool – the second of which saw him loaned to AC Milan.
According to Raiola, the former Inter and Manchester City forward – who scored twice on his Ligue 1 debut against Marseille – is unlikely to play in Serie A again in the near future, with another stint in England potentially beckoning.
“Italy is unliveable for him because of the attention he gets,” the agent told The Daily Mail.
“If he proves he can become stable at Nice and score goals then imagine how attractive he would be to a Premier League manager next summer as a free agent.
“France needs him, like they needed Zlatan. He is good for the league but he will absolutely return to the Premier League.”
Balotelli, 26, impressed under Roberto Mancini at Inter and City, but has struggled for consistency since swapping the Etihad Stadium for San Siro in 2013, when he joined Milan.
“I should not have given him his way when he asked to leave City,” Raiola said.
“It is the one big mistake I made. Mario was unhappy and I should have said, ‘You’re feeling s***? You don’t like your job? Tough, grow up, get on with it’. I needed to be cruel to be kind but I was too nice.
“Football needs to be his priority – to be a top athlete, you make the sacrifice and after 11 or 12 years, you redress the balance then lead the life you want.
“Pavel Nedved, who was one of my first players, had that focus to be a success and he was a model family man.
“Mario didn’t have that focus, then he got a reputation and if you have a reputation you don’t have credibility. That makes it more difficult.”