Mario Balotelli 'slimming down well' after weight criticism - Nice teammate

Mario Balotelli is "slimming down well and working a lot" to get back into shape for Nice's Ligue 1 challenge, teammate Pierre Lees-Melou has told RMC.

Balotelli has played just 75 minutes of competitive football for his club this term *after his condition was criticised by Nice coach Patrick Vieira.

Since then, the former Manchester City and Liverpool forward, who had been expected to leave Nice this summer has been applying himself in training to get back into shape, according to Lees-Melou.

"He's slimming down well and working a lot," the 25-year-old midfielder said. "If you see him, you'll see it for yourself. He's working very well, he's really in form and in very good shape, so I'm not worried at all about him.

"We are well aware of what he has done at the different clubs he has been at and also at Nice. He's going to come back. He's already in much better shape than he was when he started training, and he'll be even better in a few days."

Nice, who have won their last two matches after picking up just a point from their first three, next play on Saturday when they travel to Montpellier.