Mancini ready to wait as Italy eyes Martinelli's international future

Gabriel Martinelli, 18, was born in Guarulhos in Brazil but is said to be eligible to represent Italy through his father and Roberto Mancini is ready to wait.

Roberto Mancini is prepared to wait on Gabriel Martinelli as Italy tries to secure the Arsenal forward's international future.   -  Getty Images

Italy is keen on securing Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli's international future and Roberto Mancini is prepared to wait for that to happen.

Martinelli, 18, was born in Guarulhos in Brazil but is said to be eligible to represent Italy through his father.

It was reported on Monday the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) contacted Martinelli to try to convince him to reject Brazil and commit his future to the Azzurri.

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Mancini, though, accepts it will take time for the process to be completed.

"In the case of Martinelli, it is not so easy," the Italy boss told reporters on Monday. "You have to submit a request and it may take a long time. It is a long wait for these players who have a double passport."

For now, Mancini is not considering many changes to his squad before Euro 2020.

Italy can qualify for the tournament if it beats Greece on Saturday and Armenia fails to defeat Liechtenstein, and Mancini already has most of his team in mind.

 

"The group is more or less decided. Two or three players might come in or out, maybe," he said. "If someone is suddenly unavailable then we'll see what happens, but the players who will go to the Euros are all here."

That could prove bad news for Mario Balotelli, who was overlooked for the latest squad and has only made two appearances for Brescia this season.

Mancini, though, suggested his former Manchester City striker could still get back into his plans if he can put together a strong run of performances.

"He's only just come back after months out and he's not quite there physically yet," said Mancini. "He did well against Napoli but he needs to play more games."

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