Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been warned by Antonio Conte that he must regain his plain in Brendan Rodgers’ side if is to earn a recall to the Italy squad, according to a report in the Evening Standard.
Balotelli is yet to be called up by Conte, who was named the national team coach following their disappointing World Cup campaign in Brazil, where the 2006 champions exited at the group stage.
The former AC Milan forward has struggled since his £16m move to Anfield (via BBC Sport) with Rodgers favouring the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling in a central striker role.
Conte has since made it clear, only players playing at club level will get in his squad.
“I am keeping an eye on everything the [Premier] League offers,” The former Juventus boss said.
“I went to see Southampton play Liverpool and only [Graziano] Pelle played, as Balotelli and Fabio Borini were on the bench.
“The doors are open to everyone who shows during their displays that they know what the Italy jersey represents. I hope Balotelli can give Liverpool significant support and play more often.
“If this should happen, the doors are open for the national team.”
Conte may have to wait a long time before he feels Balotelli is ready for a call-up judging by these conditions with Rodgers clearly not in favour of a player who’s signing was a major risk.
Balotelli’s history is well documented, bad attitude and ill-discipline have followed him at every club he’s been at which means only a drastic u-turn in his professionalism will see him return to the international scene.