Roberto Mancini planning to speak to Mario Balotelli about Italy return
By The Associated Press
Last Updated: 15/05/18 12:04pm
New Italy head coach Roberto Mancini says he will talk to long-excluded striker Mario Balotelli about a possible return to the national team.
Balotelli has not played for Italy since the 2014 World Cup, but he featured under Mancini at both Inter Milan and Manchester City.
Mancini is replacing Gian Piero Ventura, who was fired in November after the Azzurri failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades.
Speaking at his presentation in Florence on Tuesday, Mancini said: "Mario is an Italian player. We will definitely talk. He is one of those players we should take a new look at."
Balotelli, who is a free agent this summer, stated last month he wants to return to Italy after two years in France with Nice, though he ruled out a return to former club AC Milan.
"I'd like to go back to Italy," the 27-year-old told calciomercato.com. "There are many teams following me, but I can say that AC Milan are not one of them. There's no chance of me returning to the Rossoneri.
"Nice? I almost definitely won't stay, even if I don't know yet for certain. More than likely, this will be my final season here, despite it being my best one in France."