Nice striker Mario Balotelli says he was persuaded to stay at the club by new coach Patrick Vieira despite having offers from five other teams, including one in China.
“I had the intention to leave and the club knew it,” he told the club’s television channel in an interview, adding that one of the offers came from Nice’s bitter rivals Marseille.
“I understand the fans but they need to understand my side. Nice are not playing in Europe, Marseille are playing in Europe. It’s nothing to do with the supporters, I look at what is best, in the end I stay here.”
Balotelli said that Vieira “changed 80 percent of my decision”.
He added: “It is my choice because nobody tells me what to do. I do what I feel and what I want… the final decision in my career is always mine. I can have people who give me advice but the final decision is always mine.”