Balotelli is out of contract at the end of the season, and reports suggest Newcastle are keen.

The Daily Mirror have reported that Newcastle United did in fact table an offer to sign nomadic striker Mario Balotelli in the January window, but the Italian looks set to snub the Toon.

The Mirror claimed last week that the 28-year-old striker was targeted by Newcastle, with Rafa Benitez looking to sensationally bring him back to the Premier League for a third time after spells with Manchester City and Liverpool.

A new report from the Mirror now claims Newcastle did make an offer for the 36-time Italy international, who is renowned for his temperamental footballing style, as well as his off-the-pitch antics including fireworks in his own bathroom.

However, the most recent Mirror report states that Balotelli has chosen not to return to England and to Tyneside, but is set to remain in France and move to cash-rich Marseile – despite manager Rudi Garcia “unconvinced”.

Balotelli is said to have been kicked out of Nice by manager Patrick Vieira, after failing to score in 10 games this season – despite his 28-goal haul last time around.

It seems, then, that Newcastle will have to look elsewhere for fire power up front, with Premier League champion and Champions League winner Balotelli set to leave Nice and join Marseille this month.

In other news, Report: Ross Wilson driving Rangers’ £2m pursuit of ‘incredible’ 12-goal midfielder