Balotelli's Marseille future to be decided at the end of the season

The 29-year-old scored his first goal in a friendly after his summer move to the newly promoted Serie A side, and has been backed to return to form

Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud says the club will decide on the future of Mario Balotelli in the summer.

The Italian striker, 28, has impressed since joining Marseille from Nice, scoring five times in just eight appearances, and made headlines for streaming his live reaction to scoring a goal on social media.

He was brought to Marseille on a six-month deal after a public falling-out with Nice manager Patrick Vieira saw him left out of the squad entirely for five games before his departure.

But Eyraud is happy with the forward's performances and the signs are that, if he continues in this vein, he will be rewarded with fresh terms at the end of the season.

"It's true that I believed [in him] from the beginning," Eyraud told Le Dauphine.

"Even [Marseille owner] Frank McCourt is someone who really believed in his type of profile at this time of the season, although we would have liked to see him come sooner. 

"We are happy to see his performance, the way he was accepted into the group and the way he became integrated by his actions, his attitude, his behaviour on the pitch."

However, Eyraud remained coy on whether or not Balotelli would indeed be given a new contract, despite assertions from the player himself that he would like to stay on at his new club.

"Now, we will wait until the end of the season to take stock of this experience," he added.

"In any case, I am extremely happy, personally, to have him here today.

"The future will tell. You have to pay attention to the forecasts. I'm not going to talk about Mario Balotelli's future. It's premature. 

"First of all, it made me happy that he made statements about the fact that he was planning to stay, it made me even more comforted about the choice I made. 

"Now, it depends on a lot of factors and we're not there yet. What I expect from Mario Balotelli is that he continues to blend into this group, score goals and deliver assists."

Balotelli and Marseille face Angers at home next when the international break comes to an end.