Mario Balotelli has hit out at those claiming he has been fined by Nice for being overweight, with the fiery frontman branding the reports “invented garbage”.
It had been suggested that the striker’s Ligue 1 employers had taken action on the back of a frustrating start to the season.
Balotelli, after a summer of speculation regarding his future, was said to have returned to the fold carrying a few extra pounds.
Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere told Nice Matin: “Mario will have a great season because we’ll put him in the best condition and because he’s a great player.
“However, Nice don’t have the habit of treating certain players differently.”
Balotelli faced further criticism and questions after a disappointing outing for Italy against Poland which saw him left out of the squad to face Portugal three days later.
He was then not involved when Nice took on Rennes in Ligue 1.
The enigmatic 28-year-old has, however, blasted back at those who have suggested that his absence is down to physical issues.
He posted on Instagram: “Me fined for being overweight? 1 Look at the physique I’ve got! It’s laughable that you talk of me being overweight.
“2 Now go **** yourselves with your invented garbage! Now you even say I’ve been fined? Whoever wrote that ought to lose their job.”
While clearly irked by the reports of weight problems, Balotelli has been able to see the funny side.
Another social media post read: “I just took this selfie! All doubts cast aside!”
Without Balotelli, Nice edged out Rennes 2-1 on Friday to move into the top half of Ligue 1.
It could be that their Italian forward makes his first appearance of the season next time out against Montpellier, with the former Manchester City and Liverpool star looking to build on a 43-goal haul over the last two campaigns.