NEWS
Tuesday February 20 2018
Di Biagio drops Balotelli hint

Interim Italy Coach Gigi Di Biagio has hinted at a possible recall for Nice striker Mario Balotelli.

The Azzurri are currently without a tactician after Giampiero Ventura was sacked for missing out on the 2018 World Cup.

Under-21 boss Di Biagio has been given the reins until June, or at least for two friendlies next month against England and Argentina.

“Andrea Pirlo is on another level, but Italian football is missing a lot of players at the moment. We have to reconstruct and there are a lot of talented kids coming through, but they’re still growing,” Di Biagio told Mediaset Premium at an event for Pirlo’s testimonial match.

“On Monday there will be a Press conference of presentation, so I’m trying to avoid too many comments on the Nazionale.”

He could talk about the organisation of a three-day training retreat at the Coverciano ground from February 26 to 28, though that will probably only involve young players on the fringes of the side.

“We’ll carry on what Coach Ventura managed to get, as he had requested these training ground ‘stages’ and we’ll make the most of the opportunity to work with some promising young players at Coverciano.”

Among the changes Di Biagio might enact there is the possible recall for Nice forward Balotelli.

“Mario is a good lad.”

Now 27, Balotelli has scored 21 goals in 28 competitive games for Nice this season.

He has 13 goals in 33 senior caps for Italy, but last wore the Azzurri jersey at the 2014 World Cup.

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