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Motta and Jorginho in for Italy, no place for Balotelli again

Thiago Motta has been recalled to the Italy squad for upcoming friendlies against Spain and Germany, but there is no place for striker Mario Balotelli.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Motta has not been called up by Italy since their group-stage exit at the 2014 World Cup but is recalled along with Lorenzo Insigne, whose last call-up in October 2015 saw him withdraw with a knee injury.

Motta’s club team-mate Marco Verratti has also earned a place, although only to undergo physical tests on his recurring injury.

Meanwhile, uncapped midfielder Jorginho is rewarded for a series of strong displays for Serie A title-chasing Napoli, while Federico Bernardeschi has been promoted from Luigi Di Biagio’s under-21 squad having impressed for Fiorentina.

However, there is still no place for Balotelli, leaving the Milan forward’s prospects of appearing at Euro 2016 hanging in the balance.

Italy host Spain in Udinese on March 24, before travelling to Munich’s Allianz Arena to take on World Cup holders Germany five days later.

It is Antonio Conte’s first squad since announcing he is to step down at the end of Euro 2016, with reports strongly linking the Italian to Premier League side Chelsea.

Italy squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain).

Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Sassuolo), Luca Antonelli (Milan), Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Lorenzo De Silvestri (Sampdoria), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter).

Midfielders: Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Emanuele Giaccherini (Bologna), Jorginho (Napoli), Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint Germain), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Roberto Soriano (Sampdoria), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain).

Forwards: Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Eder (Inter), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Simone Zaza (Juventus).

Sat 19 Mar, 2016
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