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Vieira will not discuss Balotelli’s Nice future before pre-season

Balo - cropped Mario Balotelli on Italy duty (source: Getty Images)

Patrick Vieira does not intend to discuss Mario Balotelli’s future at Nice with him prior to pre-season training.

Vieira was announced as Nice’s head coach on Monday, with president Jean-Pierre Rivere confirming the new boss has signed a three-year contract.

The former France captain was a team-mate of Balotelli at Inter and Manchester City, leading to suggestions he persuade the striker – who is out of contract this month – to stay at the Allianz Riviera next season.

Balotelli made his first Italy appearance since the 2014 World Cup this month, with talk of a return to Serie A consequently intensifying.

But Vieira expects the 27-year-old to report for pre-season training next month and gave little away about Nice’s transfer plans.

“I called Mario Balotelli to wish him a good holiday and tell him we were going to meet on July 2, when training resumes,” said Vieira at a news conference.

“But everything in time. There are a lot of dossiers to discuss with the president and [general manager] Julien Fournier.”

Vieira added: “When I look at the squad, it makes me very excited. There is everything you need to succeed here.

“My career as a player no longer matters, it’s in the past. The important thing for me is to have a clear idea of what I want from the players, a precise gameplan so they can express themselves, because the talent is there.”

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