The former Manchester City, Liverpool and Inter striker has been hoping to return to the Azzurri’s starting XI after having scored 14 goals in 36 appearances. However, Balotelli, now 32 years old and playing in Switzerland for Sion, has almost no chance of returning to Italy.
Mancini, who worked with Balotelli at Man City and also awarded him three caps for the national team, told reporters when asked if Balotelli was still on his mind: “I think that chapter is closed.”
Italy have had moments of firepower shortages, prompting Balotelli to post on Instagram: “There are Italian strikers out there and they’re in good form.”
But Mateo Retegui, originally from Argentina, scored in both of his first two appearances for the Azzurri during the international break and Mancini is eager to find other new options. Defending European champions Italy, who missed out on a spot at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, will return to action on June 15 when they face Spain in the UEFA Nations League semi-finals.
Thanh Vu | 16:31 04/04/2023