Mario Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, attempted to talk Nice out of signing the Italy forward on deadline day, the Ligue 1 club's president has claimed.
A delighted Jean-Pierre Rivere was pictured alongside Balotelli when the striker completed his move from Liverpool to the Cote d'Azur in the closing hours of the summer transfer window.
- OGC Nice (@ogcnice) August 31, 2016
Rivere told L'Equipe that Raiola, who is known for his unorthodox approach, had warned the Nice president what he was letting himself in for.
"Before an important meeting with Mario, who had been delayed due to a problem with his plane, Mino gave me all the reasons why I should not sign the player. And when his player arrived, Mino said to him, 'Everything bad I had to say about you to the president, I have said,'" Rivere said.
Raiola and Balotelli have been working together since 2010 with the Italian-born Dutch agent brokering moves to AC Milan and Liverpool for his client. Rivere suggested the strength of the partnership may be tested if Balotelli, who has scored four league goals already, does not succeed at the Allianz Riviera.
"He has placed Balotelli at Nice, but I'm not sure he has done so happily," Rivere said. "He told me, 'For once, Mario gets to choose his destination.' But if things don't go well here, it's going to be difficult for the player and his agent."