Football

Mario Balotelli.

Mario Balotelli offers to re-join Man City in a very special deal

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Mario Balotelli is one of the most interesting and controversial figures in world football - there's no denying that.

However, every once in a while, the Italian international reminds everyone what a sensational talent he can be, too.

After bagging 17 goals last season to help Nice secure a third-placed finish in Ligue 1, the former AC Milan man has already hit 16 goals in 21 appearances this season.

However, dry spells with AC and Liverpool significantly hurt his reputation around the continent and he hasn't played for his country since the 2014 World Cup.

Balotelli captured the hearts of English football fans for his stint with Manchester City that not only featured plenty of wonderful moments on the pitch, but it spawned some outright mental stories off of it.

Now, after finding his feet in France, the 27-year-old is clearly thinking about his future again. Given his prolific record in France, surely someone will take a chance on him again?

To lower the risk, Balotelli insists he would make a return to the opulent Man City and play for free. That's right - nothing!

"No doubt that [Man City] is where I enjoyed my best ever season," he said.

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"It's a truly unique place - I would even go back to play there for free. I'm aiming to play on at least another five, six years at the very top."

However, playing for his country remains the pinnacle for him and while Italy won't be at the World Cup in Russia, he still hopes to wear the Azzurri shirt again.

"I won't lie - my dream is to wear that [Italy] shirt again," he said.

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"My father was my No. 1 fan and I owe it to him, and I don't know how to explain it but when I put on an Italy shirt, I always have special feelings and give that little bit more.

"I still haven't understood why [Gian Piero] Ventura left me out. When I saw him at the start of May after Nice-PSG, he said a strange thing to me, making it clear to me that he didn't need to discover anything new about me and that he just expected to see the attitude of a leader in me, and then I never heard from him again."

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