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Mario Balotelli: I want to stay with France’s biggest club Marseille

Mario Balotelli has revealed his desire to stay at Marseille next season.

The Italian striker, who faces former club Nice on Sunday, will be out of contract at the end of the current campaign.

“The fact of the matter is that my contract expires at the end of this season and after that, we’ll discuss it,” Balotelli told La Provence.

“I’ve told my agent that I am happy here and want to stay. My first two seasons at Nice were good, but Marseille is on another level, another type of football and atmosphere.

“As far as I am concerned, Marseille are the biggest club in France. I thank Nice and its supporters, but there’s no comparison with Marseille.

“I’ve always felt that I would fit in here and I can’t explain why. The atmosphere is a bit like Naples. I’ve said the only Italian club I could play for would be Napoli. It’s more or less the same thing at Marseille.”

Balotelli has scored four goals since joining Marseille from Nice in January.

He celebrated his goal in last weekend’s 2-0 home win over St Etienne by grabbing a phone and posting a live video of his celebration on social media.

Nice boss Patrick Vieira believes Balotelli is proving to be a success because he needed a fresh challenge.

“We all have our opinion on Mario,” said Vieira at a press conference. “He is doing well for Marseille and that proves he needed another source of motivation and was looking for something else.

“He decided to leave, he is scoring goals for Marseille, it goes well for him, good for him.”

Nice are currently eighth, four points behind fourth-placed Marseille, ahead of the south-coast derby.

Vieira can welcome back forward Myziane Maolida, who has recovered from a hamstring injury in time for the trip.