Italy have officially left Sebastiano Esposito out of their U-17 World Cup squad as it is reported Inter will put their faith in the striker.
Esposito was considered a dead cert for the trip to Brazil, which is hosting the World Cup later this month.
However, a three-month injury layoff for Alexis Sanchez has forced Italy to pass up the 17-year-old.
“We’re sorry that Esposito couldn’t come with us, but unfortunately circumstances beyond our control prevented his call-up, despite the great availability shown by Inter,” CT Carmine Nunziata told reporters.
“In this team, Sebastiano has always been a leader, both technically and in the dressing room.
“I’m always sorry to have to give up lads who built this path with us: I’ll never stop thanking them.
“But this is the burden of every Coach, who is obliged to make choices, taking into account that there are only 21 places.”
The Azzurrini kick off their World Cup campaign against Solomon Islands on October 28 in Gama.
Gazzetta dello Sport states the hitman will spend the rest of this calendar year with Antonio Conte’s squad, backing up Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Matteo Politano.
The newspaper adds the decision comes after the Nerazzurri weighed up – and turned down – moves for free agents Wilfried Bony and Hatem Ben Arfa.
The situation could change in January, when the Beneamata could target Conte’s former Inter disciple Olivier Giroud.
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