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Italy boss Giampiero Ventura to hold talks with Mario Balotelli

Italy boss to hold talks with Balotelli
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Italy head coach Giampiero Ventura is planning talks with Mario Balotelli, potentially paving the way for a return to the squad for World Cup qualifying.

Italy head coach Giampiero Ventura has revealed that he is planning to hold talks with Mario Balotelli, potentially paving the way for a return to the Azzurri squad.

The 26-year-old has not played for his country since the 2014 World Cup, where the four-time champions exited at the first hurdle for the second successive tournament.

Balotelli endured a tough spell at Liverpool and failed to impress on loan at AC Milan, but has returned to form with Ligue 1 side Nice, scoring eight league goals this season.

"I think no-one doubts Balotelli the player, his qualities are indisputable. He was sidelined due to other, behavioural factors," Ventura told the Tiki Taka television show.

"He has to resolve these problems by himself. Sometime in the future I will be going to watch a couple of Mario's games and I will speak with him. Not to fix his problems, but to discuss them with him."

Italy are tied with Spain at the top of their 2018 World Cup qualifying group after winning three and drawing one of their first four games.

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Mario Balotelli of AC Milan looks dejected during the Serie A match between Genoa CFC and AC Milan at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on September 27, 2015
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