Cesare Prandelli has made clear that Italy will wait for Giuseppe Rossi, and commented Domenico Berardi will be going ‘step by step’.
The Azzurri face an anxious wait over news regarding Rossi’s latest knee injury, with the true extent of damage from a challenge almost two weeks ago yet to be ascertained.
However, their Coach has outlined that as long as there is a window for the Fiorentina man to make it back in time for the World Cup, his place will be left open.
“Giuseppe Rossi must be calm, he knows the view I have of him and knows that we will wait until the final days,” Prandelli has told reporters this week.
“With Rossi we have all felt it, I am sure that he will find within himself the strength to motivate and recover.
“Along the road towards the World Cup we have had a virtual squad in our minds and the season will tell us whether our ideas have been right, whilst we hope not to have any other serious injuries.”
Attention has turned to possible candidates to fill Rossi’s position and Sassuolo striker Berardi is leading the calls, after four goals scored against Milan last weekend.
“He’s proving to have quality, but we are doing things step by step, not burdening anyone with too much responsibility.
“He has had a go with the Under-21 side, where he has found a path. We follow him, he is a boy of ’94, and we must also consider his age.”
Prandelli’s Italy will face Spain in a March friendly, despite rumours that he was looking to back out of the commitment in favour of facing a different country.
“If it was not official, I would say that I would have avoided Spain.”
The former Fiorentina boss was asked for his view on Clarence Seedorf’s arrival as Coach at Milan.
“’The Professor’ is never wrong. He has a great personality and is a connoisseur of football. When I met him he always had the right opinion on games and I am sure he will do well.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition  - £10,000 to be won!