Balotelli was linked with a shock move to Newcastle.

Sky Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has claimed that Marseille are set to sign Mario Balotelli from Ligue 1 side OGC Nice in the coming days – meaning Newcastle United are set to miss out.

The Mirror claimed Newcastle were tempted with a move to land the 28-year-old this month in a bid to help them avoid relegation to the Championship.

Balotelli was in explosive form for Nice last season, scoring a huge 26 goals in 38 league and cup encounters, but this season he has not proved as prolific in front of goal.

Indeed, the 36-time Italy international has only managed 10 appearances, and he has failed to score at all for Nice throughout the first half of the season. It may mean that Nice are willing to offload the controversial striker.

Newcastle were linked with a shock move to bring Balotelli back to England, having already played for both Manchester City and Liverpool. But now, it seems as though The Toon have been beaten to his signature.

Indeed, Di Marzio claims Marseille are set to land the nomadic forward. The renowned transfer expert claims a deal is “close to conclusion” and a “green light” has been given to Marseille to land the striker.

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