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

Mario Balotelli has been linked with a return to Serie A, but Patrick Vieira expects him back at Nice next month.

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."