Nice president Jean-Pierre Riviere has defended the signing of Mario Balotelli but admitted the Italian is going through a difficult period with the Ligue 1 title challengers.
Balotelli joined Nice on a free transfer from Liverpool last August and made a strong early impression with six goals in his first five games, including braces against local rivals Marseille and Monaco.
But his form has dipped since with the former Manchester City striker netting just four times since November while he has also been sent off against Bordeaux and Lorient.
And although Riviere, who chased the signing of Balotelli personally, concedes the 26-year-old is struggling, he insists he is still in a good frame of mind with the club third in the table, three points off top spot.
He told Canal+: “There are [different] periods in a player’s life.
“He made a very good start to the season but at the moment it is not so good.
“I hope he will be back to the Mario that we knew at the beginning of the season but overall we are very happy.
“He is in a good frame of mind and we do not regret having him with us.”
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