Conte questions Balotelli's ability to change

Conte questions Balotelli's ability to change

Italy coach Antonio Conte admits he does not have the time to change striker Mario Balotelli.

The Azzurri boss called up the 24-year-old for the first time since he took charge in the summer, but the Liverpool forward sustained a hamstring injury in training which meant he returned to Merseyside without featuring in the Euro 2016 qualifier against Croatia.

Balotelli is expected to be fit to face Crystal Palace on Sunday, but club boss Brendan Rodgers is also finding fitting him into his team is not straightforward. The striker has yet to score in the Premier League since his £16m August transfer from AC Milan.

Rodgers has insisted Balotelli is working hard in training to adapt but Conte does not have the luxury of being involved on a daily basis.

However, he cast doubts over whether it is possible to make the player adjust and sounded a word of warning over his international career.

“I’m not so arrogant as to claim that I’m different from the great coaches, but the past tells us that they failed to change Balotelli,” he told Raisport in the build-up to the friendly against Albania.

“It’ll be up to the player, but I don’t have much time and I need certain things.”


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