Balotelli: Nobody tells me what to do

Balotelli, 28, resurrected his career at the modest French side after failed spells back at AC Milan and Liverpool.

A return of 43 goals in 66 games over the past two seasons saw his reputation as one of Europe's elite forwards return and subsequently earned a recall to the Italy national team.

Interest soon followed from Serie A and domestic rivals Marseille, with both Balotelli and Nice primed for an amicable split.

However, the former Inter and Manchester City forward has now explained the events that unfolded since manager Patrick Vieira stated he wants him out.

"To be honest, at the end of last season, I wanted to leave. The president and the club knew it," Balotelli admitted in an interview with OGC Nice TV.

"I had five very concrete proposals and I waited. But in the end, I decided to stay. But I've could have left very easily.

"Why did I stay? Because the atmosphere is great with my team-mates, the club and everything," Balotelli continued. "I also had one year left on my contract so I decided to stay.

"It's my decision and nobody tells me what to do. I do whatever I want, in all due respect. The final decision regarding my career is always up to me."