Mancini: I’m following Balotelli

Roberto Mancini has confirmed that he is ‘keeping an eye’ on Mario Balotelli ahead of Italy’s Euro 2020 qualifiers next month.

Balotelli has not played for Italy since September but scored three times in his first four appearances for Olympique Marseille, and Mancini suggested the striker was on the right track towards a recall.

“It’ll take some time for Italy to get back to winning and dreaming, but we’re on the right track,” the Azzurri CT told Tiki Taka.

“There’s a generation of young lads who need to play and need experience. Zaniolo’s best position? Di Francesco knows him well, he sees him every day and knows where he can play.

“He’s a good lad and right now he’s doing very well. I believe he’s a ‘mezz’ala’. I followed him at the European Under-19 Championship last year.

“I didn’t even know he played for Inter because during that Euros, he was going to Roma. Balotelli? I’m keeping an eye on him, like everyone else.

“Mario’s started well at Marseille by scoring three goals in four games. I repeat, we’re following him like many others.

“The objective is to put together a team who can do well at the Euros. Of course, Italy must always participate in tournaments with the aim of winning them.”

Italy open their qualification campaign with matches against Finland and Liechtenstein in March.